Syria rebels seize strategic Aleppo area

2012-10-25 14:57

Aleppo - Syrian rebel forces took over a strategically important Kurdish neighbourhood in Aleppo and seized a military post in the country's northeast on Thursday, residents and a watchdog said.

As observers waited to see if President Bashar Assad's regime will accept the proposal for a ceasefire during the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, residents in Aleppo's northern Ashrafiyeh district said about 200 rebels had moved in to the area for the first time.

"I saw armed men enter my street with Dushka [heavy machineguns] mounted on their vehicles, where it was written 'Liwa al-Tawhid'," a 28-year-old resident said, referring to the Free Syrian Army's (FSA) main unit in the embattled city.

"Snipers have set up in the buildings and 50 armed men, dressed in black and wearing headbands with Islamic slogans, entered a school near me. I heard them tell the residents: 'We are here to spend Eid with you'," he said.

"I am waiting for things to calm down before leaving," he said.

Eid al-Adha begins on Friday and UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has said the regime in Damascus is ready to follow his call for a ceasefire during the four-day holiday.

199 killed in a day

The regime has said it will confirm on Thursday whether it accepts the truce, while the main rebel forces say they will cease fire only if regime troops do so first.

Northern Aleppo's neighbouring Kurdish districts of Ashrafiyeh and Sheikh Maqsud have been controlled by local militia and the move marked the first time either rebel or government forces had moved into the area.

Ashrafiyeh is strategically important as it sits on city heights and is a route between the central and northern parts of the country's commercial capital, which has been the theatre of intense fighting between rebels and government troops since mid-July.

In the northeastern province of Raqa, rebels also took control of a military post in a dawn raid, killing three soldiers and seizing arms including a tank, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The post had been besieged for several days.

The Britain-based watchdog also said Syrian forces had bombed the Damascus suburb of Harasta and that fighting was taking place in the capital's southern areas of Tadamun and Qadam.

On Wednesday, fighting in the country killed 199 people, including at least 89 civilians, the Observatory said.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-25 18:47

    . Slowly, but surely, the Syrians are taking back THEIR country !!!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-25 19:49

      Anthony doesn't read any of the articles but jumps straight to the comment section, switching his fingers before his brain. "Civilians, at 24 964, represented the vast majority of those killed, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which counts as civilians non-military fighters who have taken up arms against President Bashar Assad." What's your take on this Anthony?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-26 02:58

      25,000 civilians (non-military individusls) have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the uprising. What are you reading into it Fidel. Something crazy, like Nelson Mandela is a Western lackey, a phony, a modern-day Uncle Tom? Your exact words in the US/Mandela thread, which you have not refuted or changed.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-26 03:00

      Whichever source you've lifted that from is obviously the same source that perceives Nelson Mandela in that weird way.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-26 03:03

      Everyone knows it's civilians being talked about, including women and children. Capish?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-26 03:05

      In Patrick's world, the Syrian people and their families, freeing themselves from decades of brutal oppression at the hands of unelected dictators, are terrorists. Nice.

      Shane Loxton - 2012-10-26 07:36

      well spotted Pat, the civilians dont want them there, why else would the guys say hes going to leave

      Shane Loxton - 2012-10-26 07:39

      Fred and his broken record of Phone, patsy, Murderer even though we cant prove he killed people he did sign orders for bombs against civilians, just like Hitler did

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-26 08:03

      Shane, are you saying that the unelected dictator of Syria, who has openly called himself a bloody surgeon, is not responsible for killing Syrians and their families, the same dictator that 166 countries on Earth have said must step down because he is killing his own people?

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-10-26 16:31

      From wikipedia: "A civilian under international humanitarian law (also known as the laws of war) is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia. Civilians are distinct from combatants." What have you got to say about that Fred. Your plain wrong.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-26 22:28

      Tom, does it really matter whether 25,000 or 15,000 civilians have been killed?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-10-27 12:47

      Fidel, Yes, I dis read the article !! the problem is, you also read the article, but you don't undrrstand it !! I REPEAT; Slowly, but surely, the Syrians are taking back THEIR country !!!!

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