Syrian forces pound rebels in Aleppo

2012-08-04 20:22

Aleppo, Syria - Syrian artillery, planes and a helicopter gunship pounded rebel positions in Aleppo on Saturday, witnesses said, as President Bashar al-Assad's forces tried to break through the insurgents' frontline in Syria's largest city.

Syrian forces clashed with rebels around Aleppo's television and radio station, activists said, and a local rebel commander said his fighters were preparing for a "strong offensive" by government forces on the city.

In the capital Damascus, troops backed by armour stormed the last opposition bastion on Friday in a drive to crush a rebel offensive that coincided with a bombing that killed four of Assad's senior security officials. The onslaught continued on Saturday as jets bombarded the city, a resident said.

Syrian forces battered Aleppo's Salaheddine district, seen as a gateway for the army into the city of 2.5m people. The fate of the district could determine the outcome of a conflict that has already claimed some 18 000 lives.

"There is one helicopter and we're hearing two explosions every minute," a Reuters witness said.

The civil war has intensified in the past few weeks, with fighting engulfing Damascus and Aleppo for the first time in the 17-month-old uprising against Assad family rule.

The two cities are crucial prizes for both sides in a conflict that has eluded all attempts at a diplomatic solution and risks igniting a wider conflagration.

UN member states on Friday voted overwhelmingly to condemn the Syrian government at a special session of the 193-nation General Assembly that Western diplomats said highlighted the isolation of Assad supporters Russia and China.

Western and Arab powers want Assad to step aside but Russia and China have used their Security Council vetoes to block attempts to force him out. They say outside interference is prolonging the bloodshed.

Assad's government, allied to Iran and Lebanon's armed Shi'ite Hezbollah movement, is at odds with Turkey and most of the Arab world, especially US-aligned states such as Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-ruled Gulf partners.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-08-05 03:45

    And the self appointed policemen of the world sit with folded hands and watch this sh*t go by!! Shame on the USA UK & UN !! Why are you so scared of China & Russia ?? Obama you prick..DO SOMETHING !!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-05 05:32

      Can't be the self-appointed policeman then, can they. I do agree Obama is doing nothing, though, which is unacceptable.

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-08-05 07:31

      they sit with hands folded watching the sh*t they created! Shame on USA, UK and UN for the mess they created! They dont have the guts to take on China and Russia because they are sizeable forces to deal with! Kofi resigned because he refused to be used AGAIN by UN member states and that the info spread by western media is in serious conflict with whats happening on the ground in syria! DO SOMETHING about the 'tourist' that lands in turkey to earn large sums for work across the border. They dont even speak the local tongue and are to reporting to 'red haired' arab speaking commando's handing out weapons!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-05 07:39

      Shaik, Excellent, you really understand what is going on. What really is interesting; ""reporting to 'red haired' arab speaking commando's handing out weapons"" I can hardly wait for your next comment !!

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-08-05 07:47

      dum ass have you nothing usefull to comment? Maybe you undestand that!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-05 09:04

      Shaik, Thank you for your kind words! In SA, one does not break any law when you support DUCTATORS/TYRANTS/MASS MURDERERRS But what should be unlawful, is to talk a lot of garbage !! enjoy the rest of your day !

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-08-05 10:00

      anthony! You mistook my frank words for words of kindness! What goes for you in South America, does not work in Turkey! We have a culture of frankness... Beating around the bush is left for others!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-05 11:04

      @Gerald Why appeal to the Nato terrorists? They're no more entitled to influence what should happen in Syria than the President of Peru is to influence what should happen in the west. It's for the Syrian people themselves to decide. One would be excused to believe it was all back to the Balfour Declaration days, when foreign powers would decide the fate of a country without the merest consultation of its people, who, by the way, never asked them to do it on their behalf.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-05 11:32

      Great comment Fidel.............................!!! But you did not beat yesterday's comment; ""There are all types of legitimate governments across the globe. As a negotiated human construction, democracy is no panacea. It is a system made within the context of history and the diversity of human identities"" THAT would be ,almost, impossible !!!! It is doubtful, even your radical buddies, take you serious any longer ! You have become the joke of these comment sites !!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-05 11:45

      Anthony, you clown, I am not trying to convert you, whether you take me seriously or not, I do not care either way. Was that comment of mine too much for you?

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-08-05 11:48

      anthony! I have yet to see a decent contribution from you to the actual comment! If YOU dont change that then you stand the risk of becoming the joke of this site! For repeating in part other peoples comments! Dont you have an opinion of your own?

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-08-05 12:10

      Mgoqi is just struggling with political immaturity and emotionalism interspersed with personal insults. In other words a psychological cripple with a reactive personality. Maybe she was a KGB colonel in a previous life and now has got atavistic resurgences.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-05 12:23

      It's quite amusing that your post doesn't address my comment in any tangible way. So it was just an excuse to vent your spleen.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-05 14:18

      Shaik, ""anthony! I have yet to see a decent contribution from you to the actual comment"" This is very rich coming from you !!! ""they sit with hands folded watching the sh*t they created!"" What are you on about ?? 'The sh.t THEY created ?? This is a nation that has had enough of a violent family, ruling them for FIFTY YEARS, as if Syria is their private company For 11 months these brave people went UNARMED onto the streets, while this assad terrorist mowed them down, by the THOUSANDS!! Now, they do what ANY other person in this world would do , they got rifles from anyone willing to give them , and are now fighting back. YOU got a problem with this; TOUGH LUCK ""They dont have the guts to take on China and Russia because they are sizeable forces to deal with!"" Get out of your silly fantasy world, The USA, Russia , nor China are that stupid to even get into a large dispute, because of this assad dog!! Don't be so stupid !! ""Kofi resigned because he refused to be used AGAIN by UN member states and that the info spread by western media is in serious conflict with whats happening on the ground in syria"" What is the most dumb thing to do is to make up your 'own facts'. Kofi Annan foremost resigned because the 6 point peace plan agreed on, was totally ignored by the Syrian regime. And when you say; "used again by UN members.......... are you referring to Rwanda in 1992, when 800 000 Africans were massacred, and than 10 years later said" I could have done more "

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-08-05 15:51

      anthony! You are really irritating when you repeat a post!!! Grrr! But not as irrrritating as when you pretend to have factual information which is mere mindless cr*p! You are far away in africa whilst i am right next door to syria and get info from original sources on the ground which is contra to what you are babbling! Next you are going to say that the Kurdish rebels we are fighting in Turkey on the border with iraq is also part of a 'arab spring'.. Well let me tell you that Turkey like Syria has the right to defend itself against foreign fighters or any other parties attacking it!! just like your country and the US would!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-05 16:21

      Shaik, I have not a clue , what you are on about. And to say that, because one is close to a 'conflict zone' that you know better what is going on, than someone 15 000 km away, is just plain absurd. In today's information age, it must be one of the dumnest things to say.

      shaik.spear.1 - 2012-08-05 17:24

      anthony. Not only are you the ONLY one that havent a clue, it also confirms many other things about you.! To say that modern day communications like. Tv and internet, etc. are more reliable than actually seeing and hearing the facts personally, well then that doesnt make it absurd , it makes YOU a turd! You are a disgrace to your fellow countrymen for the stance that you take! One would expect that your county's transfer of power through the most remarkable democratic process would have made you see things differently. But it would seem that you and a certain Julius Malema have a lot in common.....loud mouths, empty heads and hot air!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-05 07:30

    If the Syrian government is reduced to this, it must lose. By the way, News24, thanks for the map!

  • keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-08-05 14:13

    China, Russia and Iran its time we should wipe the west and its allies off the face off the earth to make the world a better place to live for all.These vampires are the onse instigating uprisings etc.Come on lets bring darkness over them so the sun can shine bright again for all mankind

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-08-05 15:10

      Why don't you commit suicide? After all you are no good to man or beast.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-08-05 15:52

      These sites seems to have been overtaken, again, by a bunch of radicals, who also happen to be 'lunatics with a filthy mind. Fidel, that pet, keith and Shaik, seem to have found each other. Great for them, but not , for most News24 readers. They know, there is not ONE political party in the whole world, who would get more than 5 % of any population behind them , with such silly, childish outdated anti Western crap So, they now abuse their freedom, to deny others same, and bore most other readers endlessly!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-05 16:41

      Stash the bottle, go to bed, and ask your GP on Monday to make an appointment with a psychiatrist. Truly plumbing new depths of lunacy.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-06 16:35

    "I announce my defection today from the regime of killing and terror, and I join the ranks of the revolt," Prime Minister Hijab said in statement read by his spokesperson Mohammed al-Otri on Al-Jazeera news channel from Amman. "Syria is passing through the most difficult war crimes, genocide, and barbaric killings and massacres against unarmed citizens," he said.

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