Reports claim that troops loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are battling to regain the upper hand in the country's second city, Aleppo. After reports claim that rebel forces had taken control of three neighbourhoods within Aleppo.

This footage shows government forces patrolling the Midan district which the government claim to have wrested back from rebel control. A reporter off camera asks this soldier what the current situation is. He replies in Arabic

(Reporter: "Have you controlled the Midan district now?")

"We have regained control of the district and we hope to win the battle in the end."

Meanwhile following an emergency meeting in Qatar, Arab League foreign ministers called on President Assad to resign rapidly, and offered his family safe passage out of Syria. The Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al Arabi speaking in Arabic had this to say

"First, we ask the regime to step down but we didn't set any timeframe. The Arab league pledges to provide him (Al Assad) and his family with safe exit to stop the bloodshed in Syria. The faster we act the better. The other issue is the safe zones, which are not part of the Arab league mandate, so we will address the UN General Assembly who recommends procedures and actions."

Some 18,000 people have been killed in the 16-month-old revolt, including more than 1,200 during the last week, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, making it the bloodiest week in the uprising.

Written and Presented by Ann Salter