Fighting rocks Aleppo as toll mounts

2012-08-07 13:00

Beirut - Fierce fighting rocked the heart of Syria's commercial capital Aleppo early on Tuesday as troops shelled rebel-held districts in the east of the key battleground city, a human rights group said.

The clashes came after at least 265 people were killed in violence nationwide on Monday, 182 of them civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, revising sharply upwards an earlier toll.

The figure made Monday one of the deadliest days since the outbreak of the uprising against President Bashar Assad's rule in March last year, the Britain-based watchdog said.

Troops fought with rebel fighters in the Bab Antakya, Aziziyeh, Bab Janin and Sabaa Bahrat areas of central Aleppo and near the Palace of Justice in the west, the Observatory said.

Fighting broke out for the first time in the Ashrafiyeh district in the northwest, the watchdog's director Rami Abdel Rahman said. "Clashes broke out there after rebels attacked a military post," he said.

Aleppo has been bracing for a threatened ground offensive by the army against the rebels, who say they control around half of the city.

Helicopter gunships

A senior security official said on Sunday that the army had completed the build-up of about 20 000 troops in readiness for a decisive showdown in the battle under way since 20 July.

Troops shelled rebel-held neighbourhoods in the east of the city, the Observatory said. Opposition activists of the Syrian Revolution General Commission said the army used helicopter gunships in its pounding of the Hanano district.

The head of the UN observer mission in Syria, Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye expressed concern for civilians trapped in the fighting in the city of around 2.7 million people.

Fighting in Aleppo killed 57 people on Monday alone, the majority of them civilians, the Observatory said.

"I urge the parties to protect civilians and respect their obligations under international humanitarian law," Gaye said in a statement on Monday. "Civilians must not be subjected to shelling and use of heavy weapons."

Approximately 20 unarmed UN observers were moved out of Aleppo back to the mission's Damascus headquarters at the weekend because of worsening security, a UN spokesperson said.

Nationwide, 21 rebel fighters and 62 security force personnel were also among Monday's dead, according to the Observatory's revised toll.

  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-08-07 13:15

    To those fighting for freedom..aim true and fight hard. May your God be with you.

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-08-08 10:12

      Personally I'm an Atheist Keithy, What ever gives them strength...

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-08-07 13:26

    The losers in this and all similar situations are ordinary people who just want to get on with their lives rather than being fired up by rhetoric and propaganda that leads to homes being destroyed. The failures are all parties involved in the conflict because they failed to reach compromise....there are no winners in wars of this nature.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 14:15

      Well said! The are keyboard warriors sitting comfortably at their computers egging these militias to fight on, instead of seeking to negotiate with the Syrian government. Libya has corrupted a lot of people!

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-08-07 16:49

      Afterthought....there are winners (of a sort) the investors, employees, traders and maggots that feed of the supply chain of war supplies.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 17:27

      Ther are those who sit comfortable at home, posting messages that has NO impact on their lives, and who have NO conception whatsoever, what it is, to live under the command of a terrorist. For FIFTY YEARS, these assad's have been terrorizing this nation, and to all these arogant, silly and stupid people that tell them to sit down with this mass murderer, they say ; "F... OFF, mind your own business, These assad monsters, have had plenty time, 50 years, to negotiate, now they want him to hang for his crimes.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 17:41

      Obviously people put all sorts of nonsense up here and expectations for coherence and general sanity should never be all that high, but I'm still surprised on a daily basis by Anthony who is incapable of stringing two sentences together without some crass attempt at insult. What a bellend!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 18:28

      Fidel, The ONLY contribution that you have ever made, is spewing HATRED, so stop being so childish with this self importance, cause it is only that you are bloated up with crap, to entertain the likes of this Pet !!!

      rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-08-07 18:34

      The reality of this part of the world, from ancient to modern, is that the many disparate groups all insist on trying to domonate or subvert other groups. The only times where ther has been a semblance of peace and posterity is when a mainline power has subjugated large swathes of the region. Consider ancient Egypt, Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman etc etc. No wonder that the French and Brits gave up their mandates very quick;y. So what is the answer when everyone wants to be in charge and no one wants to be subjects....when sustainability and development of small powers is virtually impossible. I don't have the answer, but it is not war!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 18:59

      I welcome China's rise for exactly those reasons. A multi-polar world, it seems, is the only way to achieve objectivity of reason, and to literally carve in stone checks and balances via actual geography and independent national thought. We've seen the result of an unfettered, uni-polar world for the last 20 years and its not pretty. We can only hope that a re-emergence of a multipolar world will curb America's worst excesses and that China's relative isolationism will keep her at home.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 19:02

      Anthony, you don't contribute, you just bitch and moan. You're a coward unwilling to push beyond your limitations, and you attempt to bring everyone down to your silly level. Now go ahead and flame me!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 19:39

      Why should I 'flame' you, when you do it yourself !!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 20:01

      I think you'll find insults work best after you've supplied some argument. Look at that, just wasted another 60 seconds of life. Will I ever learn?

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-08-07 13:39

    wonder if its the same gunships Russia delivered that spoke about in previous posts that Anthony said i was talking rubbish?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 13:59

      Shame, I can remember you talking rubbish, but not in connection with gunship helicopters being delivered by Russia!

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-08-07 16:14

    @ Anothony, talking rubbish is like the pot calling the kettle black coming out of your mouth. your memory seems to deceive you regularly, do you not remember when u made a comment pertaining to WW3 on a post i made well in that same post i stateted that ground to air missles namely the S300 and MI24 Gunshipships had just been delivered by the russians

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 17:20

      Shame,' Terribly sorry to have confused you, I was replying to your WW3 comment!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 17:42

      If you had one of your brains removed, you'd be less confused!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 18:30

      Reading is obviously not your strong point. I was referring to Shame being confused, but now we have also got you confused !!!!!

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-08-07 18:10

    So Anthony u say that if the US, Israeli, western troops put troops on the ground to face the Russian, Iranians, Chinese etc its not going to come to WW3 or close to it, LoL carry on sticking your head in the ground bud, we have already been put on standby to depart.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 19:12

      Shame, Don't know what you are on about, but maybe you should stop playing these war games on these game machines. Forget about a plan, there is not even a thought, from NOBODY!!! Not the USA, Europe, Russia, China, and believe it, not even the Iranians. FOR THAT CRIMINAL COWARD ???? Come on, get real !! An if you have been put on stand-by; Don't blame Syria, your boss just want to get rid off you, because you are a lousy worker !!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-07 19:22

      And the USA or Europe going to war with China...........!!!!! It will be the first super power, brought to its knees, without one single shot fired !!! Maybe you underestimate the Americans and the Europeans...... They stop importing Chinese manufacured goods, and their economy collapses within weeks, and a few more weeks after this, the Chinese regime will fall!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-07 19:39

      You're asuming that those westerners won't be affected by those cheap Chinese imports bought on credit. China is steadily increasing its wages and growing its own middle class and in a few years time she would have weaned herself of the broke western consumer, and rely on its own market, a billion strong, not excluding its other trading partners in the BRICs organisation.

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