Fighting intensifies over Aleppo

2012-09-08 22:01
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beirut - The Syrian regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling on Saturday as ground forces seeking to regain momentum in the country's largest city advanced on three neighbourhoods, activists said.

Shelling and air raids against the eastern Helwaniyeh neighbourhood caused a large number of casualties, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and another activist group called the Local Coordination Committees. Amateur videos showed wounded people bleeding on the floor of a crowded makeshift hospital as they received treatment.

The LCC said 148 people were killed nationwide, including 77 in Aleppo. Thirty of those were killed in Helwaniyeh, it said.

Activist accounts and videos cannot be independently confirmed because the regime has strictly limited independent reporting in the country.

The Observatory also said government forces advanced in the Aleppo neighbourhoods of Salaheddine, Seif el-Dawleh and Izaa after rebels withdrew from the areas under heavy shelling.

Aleppo - which had been relatively quiet for most of the 18-month-old revolt - has emerged as the main battleground in Syria's civil war, with both sides largely locked in a stalemate despite the superior firepower of President Bashar Assad's regime.

The uprising against Assad began in March 2011, when protests calling for political change were met by a violent government crackdown by government troops. Many in the opposition took up arms, and activists say more than 23 000 people have been killed.

The government says more than 4 000 security officers are among the dead.

Syrian army forces also regained full control of one of their largest posts in Aleppo after pushing rebels out of a section they had seized late Friday.

But fighting continued to rage outside the Hanano barracks, which house more than 2 000 soldiers near the centre of the city, according to the Observatory and activists.

Aleppo activist Mohammed Saeed said rebels were able to free scores of detainees from the sprawling barracks.

Rebels also attacked a main army checkpoint linking Aleppo with Turkey, where many Syrians have taken refuge from the fighting. The Observatory said six rebels were killed in the attack.

Sabotage

In other violence, the Observatory reported intense fightingon  Saturday in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus, which had been subjected to government shelling the day before.

When Syria's unrest began, the country's half-million Palestinians tried to stay on the sidelines. But in recent months, young Palestinian refugees - enraged by mounting violence and moved by Arab Spring calls for greater freedoms - have been taking to the streets and even joining the rebels.

Clashes also broke out in the Damascus suburbs as well as the northern province of Idlib, the southern province of Daraa and central Hama and Homs.

Some of the fiercest fighting was in the Damascus neighbourhood of Tadamon, according to the Observatory and the LCC. The groups claimed an army helicopter had been shot down.

Syria's civil war witnessed a major turning point in August when Assad's forces began widely using air power to crush the revolt. Several warplanes and helicopters have been shot down in recent weeks.

Earlier Saturday, a major water pipeline in Aleppo was damaged during the intense fighting leaving several neighbourhoods in the city without drinking water.

The Syrian government and opposition traded blame over the damage to the water pipeline in the central neighbourhood of Midan.

The LCC and Aleppo-based activists said a Syrian army warplane hit the pipeline with a missile.

The Observatory said the pipeline was hit as warplanes bombed the area while clashes raged on the ground, but it said it was not immediately clear exactly what caused the damage.

"Water was completely cut from several neighbourhoods in the city," Saeed said via Skype. "Electricity was cut and now water. This will only increase the suffering of people."

Aleppo's governor Mohammed Wahid Akkad said two water pumps were subjected to an act of sabotage by "terrorists", the term used by the regime for the rebels.

Akkad was quoted by state-run news agency SANA as saying that water was cut in the neighbourhoods of Midan, Suleimaniyeh and Aziziyeh and work is under way to repair them.

Amateur videos posted online showed one of Midan's streets after it was turned into a small river by the flow of water gushing from the pipeline.

- SAPA
Read more on:    bashar assad
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is hard to keep some sort of balance when the natural rhythm has flown out the window. The best thing to do is try not to keep...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.