Published: Oct 31, 2012 11:28 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) - Activists say Syrian warplanes are pounding opposition strongholds around Damascus and in the north, as the regime of President Bashar Assad intensifies airstrikes against rebels seeking to topple him.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers reports from a network of activists, says government jets conducted five strikes Wednesday morning in the eastern Ghouta district, a rebel stronghold close to the capital. Three airstrikes also hit the rebel-held city of Maaret al-Numan, which straddles a key supply route from Damascus to Aleppo in the country's north.
No casualties were reported in Wednesday's strikes, the Observatory said.
However, at least 185 people were killed Tuesday, pushing the total death toll from the relentless fighting in Syria to over 36,000, said Rami Abdul-Rahman, the group's president.

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