These are the first blasts to strike Aleppo, which has been quiet since the uprising began against President Bashar al Assad’s regime last March.

The state TV channel said the blasts had caused a number of casualties, including civilians and soldiers, and blamed “armed terrorist gangs”.

Graphic footage was shown by a weeping presenter, who said a blast went off near a public garden where children were playing.
Another explosion was also reported near a military intelligence building.

Tanks entered the protest hub, Homs today, in preparation for planned protests denouncing Russia’s backing of the regime.

Human rights groups estimate that over 6,000 people have died in the government crackdown since the revolt began almost a year ago.

Over 80 people were killed across Syria on Thursday – 50 of those died in Homs.

Sky News reported that people are saying goodbye to loved ones as villages between Homs and the Lebanese border are abandoned.

The Free Syrian Army are preparing for a sweep by state troops through the countryside to the border.