Assad 'in Aleppo, orders more troops'

2012-10-02 15:52

Beirut - Syrian President Bashar Assad is visiting the city of Aleppo to take a first-hand look at the fighting between government forces and rebels and has ordered 30 000 more troops into the battle, a Lebanese paper said on Tuesday.

Al-Diyar newspaper, which is known for its pro-Assad stance, said the president had flown by helicopter at dawn from the presidential palace in Damascus to Aleppo.

It did not specify what day the trip started but said that Assad was still in Aleppo. The visit was decided on after reports that the situation in the city, Syria's largest and its commercial centre, had become very serious.

"President Assad ordered units 5 and 6, estimated to be 30 000 soldiers and 2 000 personnel carriers, to move from Hama to Aleppo and to attack any occupied areas of Aleppo province from the Turkish border," it said.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the report. An employee of al-Diyar said it had a correspondent in the city. Syrian state media made no mention of any visit.

Rebels mounted a new offensive last week to seize the city, which was until July firmly under Assad's control. They claim to hold most of the Old City but are struggling to hang on to their positions in the face of heavy artillery fire.

30 000 killed

The rebel forces are in the east and Assad's forces in the west of Aleppo. Fires started by the combat have gutted the historic market in the Old City, a world heritage site.

Opposition activists say 30 000 people have been killed in the 18-month-old anti-Assad uprising, which has grown into a full-scale civil war.

For much of the revolt, Assad retained a grip on Aleppo. Many rich merchants and minority groups, fearful of instability, chose to stay neutral while pro-democracy protests spread.

Syrian authorities have painted the uprising as a foreign-backed "terrorist" conspiracy.

The paper said that Assad gave orders that Aleppo must be "cleansed" during the visit.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-10-02 16:41

    Are there another 30,000 left - i would have thought by now they would all be in battle.

  • derek.bredenkamp.3 - 2012-10-02 16:47

    Good news, I hope he soon puts and end to this bloodshed.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-02 21:15

      The self-styled and unelected "bloody surgeon of Syria", who is murdering Syrians and their families in their homes, is going to put an end to the bloodshed?

  • graciano.wabai - 2012-10-02 18:07

    Th weastean states are feeding on the blood of syrians to protect Israel .Assad is not a desirable nbr 2 the Zionist Regime.All the stupidity about supporting a pro democracy fight against Assad is nonsense given the fact that the same weastean states and their mouth peaces ar egnoring un armed people being butcherd in Bahran .Interestingly a despotic mornachical regime of Saudi Arabia is a darling 4 the west and its in the forefront supporting al quada militants fighting Assad.UJUST WORLD

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-02 21:23

      How are they doing this? By doing nothing? Everyone knows the so-called West is doing virtually nothing. Saudi Arabia certainly is not "a darling for the West". The West tolerates the Saudis because it is dependent on that country for oil. That includes you. Do you want to pay R50 per liter of petrol? The West puts a lot of pressure on Saudi Arabia to change its chauvinistic ways. It is however not killing, detaining, torturing and raping tens of thousands of Saudis, is it now. There is nothing stopping Saudi citizens from demonstrating for more rights, like Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Syrians have. Essentially your perspective is immature and blaming. Blame the West for everything.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-02 21:09

    Of course it's involvement/movement from outside Syria. Just like the 'democratic movement' in SA, which in the end, was really communist. EVIL.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-02 21:24

      Interesting how racist South Africans agree with racist Patrick, Fidel, et al. Same belief system.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-02 21:20

    It's ultimately about control of Syria's currency as it's still state owned. Lybia was overthrown for the same reason. Syria is one of only 4 countries left in the world whose monetary system is not owned by the bankers.

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-03 09:25

    Thank god for the internet, a lot of people are finally waking up to the criminal activities of the money changers that want total control of the world using propaganda and bombs!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-04 04:53

      """Thank god for the internet, a lot of people are finally waking up to the criminal activities of the Russian money changers that want total control of the world using drugs and prostitution !!!!!""" Correction; I always say, that the Russians don't create any jobs anywhere in the world. This is not true !! They do create jobs in many places in the world; Drug dealers and Prostitutes !!!

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