Skip to main content

What you need to know about Syria today

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:30 PM EDT, Wed September 12, 2012
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie meets with refugees Monday in Amman, Jordan.
UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie meets with refugees Monday in Amman, Jordan.
  • Opposition: Shelling from regime fighter jets kill nine people in one village
  • The Syrian regime says it inflicted "heavy losses" on opposition forces in Aleppo
  • EU official: "We face a dangerous stalemate" as the world remains deadlocked on Syria

Editor's note: Read a version of this story in Arabic

(CNN) -- More than 20,000 people -- most of them civilians -- have been killed in Syria's 18-month crisis. The violence continued unabated Wednesday with fierce attacks reported across the country.

Here are the latest developments in the Syrian civil war:

On the ground: The battle for Aleppo intensifies

The Syrian regime touted gains on Wednesday in the quest to control Syria's largest city and commercial hub, Aleppo:

"Units from our heroic Syrian armed forces are in confrontations with terrorist armed groups" in Aleppo, "inflicting upon them heavy losses in their numbers and equipment," state-run TV reported.

Regime and rebel fighters have battled for months in Aleppo, where civilians routinely dodge snipers and attacks from the air.

On Tuesday, regime forces shelled a bakery in nearby Marea, causing more than a dozen casualties, opposition activists said.

Government forces have previously attacked bread lines in Aleppo province, according to human rights groups and U.N. officials. Residents in opposition-friendly areas often wait in lines at night to avoid being targeted by government aircraft.

Across the country, at least 172 people were killed in fresh violence on Wednesday, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. Sixty-seven of the deaths occurred in Aleppo, it said.

World reaction: European official says the world is at a "deadlock" on Syria

The European Union is preparing additional funds to support relief through education, food and water, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said.

"We face a dangerous stalemate," she said Tuesday in a statement. "The truth is that, despite all the efforts, the international community is in a sense at a deadlock ... the U.N. Security Council has not been able to agree on a common response that could open the way for a political solution."

Humanitarian crisis: 1 in 4 Homs residents are in urgent need of aid

Some 550,000 of the 2.2 million people in Homs province need humanitarian aid, World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said after a U.N. mission composed of health experts visited the embattled province last week.

"The urgency of scaling up delivery of humanitarian aid is exacerbated by the approaching winter," he said.

About half of the province's physicians have left, and only about three surgeons remain, he said. Many of the medical facilities across the province have been damaged or destroyed, leaving the few remaining hospitals overwhelmed with patients and short on medicine and supplies.

CNN's Saad Abedine and Holly Yan contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 10:48 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
As a 10-year-old, this boy first hit the headlines in 1982 when he saved his cat from a fire. This year, he was reported to be a suicide bomber.
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Aqsa Mahmood,19, would listen to Coldplay and read Harry Potter books. Then this Glasgow girl became an ISIS bride.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
The little boy looks barely old enough to walk, let alone understand the dark world he's now inhabiting.
updated 12:22 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
ISIS has released video of the aftermath of a mass execution. Another video shows alleged captured Peshmerga soldiers.
updated 5:33 AM EDT, Sat August 30, 2014
The number of people who have fled Syria and registered as refugees amid the country's civil war will surpass 3 million Friday.
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, grew up in the Minneapolis area, but died more than 6,000 miles away in Syria, fighting for ISIS.
updated 4:54 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
If the United States is serious about thoroughly defeating ISIS, it must, somehow, go through Syria.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 2:15 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
More than 100,000 people reportedly have been killed in Syria since a popular uprising in 2011 spiraled into a civil war.