Three car bombs tore Wednesday, October 3 into the heart of Aleppo, killing 48 people and wounding 100, mostly soldiers, as television showed scenes of devastation in Syria’s commercial capital, Agence France Presse reported. The bombings were the deadliest in Syria’s raging civil war since August 28, when a car bomb targeted the funeral of two government loyalists in a Damascus suburb, killing 27 people. Aleppo, with a population of 1.7 million people, has been one of the focal points of the conflict since mid-July, when the army promised the “mother of all battles” to clear the city of rebels. Also Wednesday, the army launched a major offensive against rebel bastions near Damascus, shelling neighborhoods and making mass arrests. The offensive comes after the official daily Al-Baath reported that the “end of security operations throughout Damascus province” was approaching.