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Wednesday, 02 January 2013 - 13:00
Syria ushers in New Year with more violence
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Syrians woke up to air strikes near Damascus on New Year's Day and the closure of Aleppo airport after repeated rebel attacks, casting doubts on efforts to end the 21-month conflict.

The brutality of the war was highlighted in a graphic new video posted on the Internet by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, allegedly showing soldiers stabbing two prisoners to death.

And in a fresh blow to President Bashar al-Assad, a Turkish diplomat said some 20 Syrian soldiers, including a general, defected on Tuesday and fled to Turkey, rear-base of the insurgents battling the regime.

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