ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad told his troops on Wednesday that their battle against rebels would decide Syria’s fate, but his written message gave no clues to his whereabouts two weeks after a bomb attack on his inner circle.
In Aleppo, rebel fighters seized three police stations while fighting the army for control of a strategically important district. Explosions could be heard and helicopter gunships cruised the skies as troops tried to push the rebels out of the northern city and preserve one of Assad’s main centers of power.
ALEPPO, Syria, Aug 1 (Reuters) – At the frontline of the
battle for Aleppo, the ancient citadel is tantalisingly close
for Syrian rebels.
As they push towards the centre of Syria’s biggest city,
they can see the crumbling stone walls of the 800-year-old
fortress perched on a dry, grassy hill just 200 metres away.
AZAZ/ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – Rebel fighter Ahmed chuckles as he tells the story of the Syrian army sniper who was captured and executed by rebels, shot dead after a “trial” conducted at his own graveside.
He says Rami the sniper, firing from a high minaret at the local mosque, killed many rebels and civilians before he was seized by fighters from Ahmed’s Amr bin al-Aas brigade which operates around the northern Syrian town of Azaz.
ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – Abdelrahman left school at 17 to join the Syrian rebels in Aleppo. His parents never heard he had reached the city until they got the call to pick up his body.
By evening, his father was in the city, standing on a hillside crammed with white tombstones and fresh graves. Abdelrahman’s comrades used their bare hands to seal his final resting place, their clothes stained with mud and the boy’s blood.
ALEPPO, Syria, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Syrian combat aircraft and
artillery pounded Aleppo late into the night as the army battled
for control of the country’s biggest city, where rebel fighters
said troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had been forced
During the day on Tuesday large clouds of black smoke rose
into the sky after attack helicopters turned their machineguns
on eastern districts for the first time in the latest fighting
and a MiG warplane later strafed the same area.
ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – Syrian rebels aim to push towards central Aleppo, capturing the country’s biggest city within days despite being outgunned by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, a local rebel commander said.
Colonel Abdel-Jabbar al-Oqaidi, who defected from the Syrian army six months ago, told Reuters government troops had tried for three days to capture the south-western Aleppo neighborhood of Salaheddine, and Assad’s soldiers were increasingly demoralized.
ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – There are no colored lights, no crowds of shoppers thronging the markets for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in rebel-held Aleppo. Trash lines the roadsides, and a few worried faces make their way past quickly.
While some welcome it, other residents seem wary of the ragtag rebels who have seized of parts of this ancient city, which for months stood on the sidelines of the 16-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad that has shaken most of the country.
ALEPPO, Syria, July 31 (Reuters) – The Syrian military has
stepped up its campaign to drive rebels out of Aleppo, where
fighters said they were holding firm, vowing to turn the
country’s largest city into the “grave of the regime”.
Opposition activists denied a government declaration that
its forces had recaptured the Salaheddine district, in southwest
Aleppo, straddling the most obvious route for Syrian troop
reinforcements coming from the south.
ALEPPO (Reuters) – The rebel banner of independence waves over the scorched streets and gutted cars that litter the urban battlegrounds of Aleppo, scars of a struggle in Syria’s second largest city that fighters believe they are destined to win within weeks.
The scruffy, rifle-wielding youths are undeterred by the fate of equally bold, but ultimately crushed campaigns by rebels in the capital Damascus or in Homs, the bloody epicenter of the 16-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
ALEPPO, Syria, July 30 (Reuters) – Artillery and mortar fire
reverberated across Aleppo early on Monday and a military
helicopter clattered towards a district that the Syrian army
said it had recaptured from rebels in battles for control of
Syria’s biggest city.
Hospitals and makeshift clinics in rebel-held areas in the
east of the city were filling up with casualties from a week of
fighting in Aleppo, an commercial hub that had previously stayed
out of a 16-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.