Mobile Version
Free Internet Press
  Uncensored News For Real People


FIP Year In Review

FIP Month in Review

FIP Archive Search




2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


War For Aleppo: Battle Rages In City That Will Determine Syria's Fate
2012-08-05 01:37:16 (112 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke

The pitched battle for Syria's oldest city was edging ever closer to its ancient heart on Saturday, with skirmishes flaring near world-renowned landmarks and once impregnable pillars of state control.

Monuments and security buildings stand cheek-by-jowl in Aleppo, a city of huge importance to the Syrian uprising, where a grand, 1,000-year-old citadel stands not far from a much-feared interrogation dungeon. Friday jets were bombing the center of the city, barely a mile away from the citadel.

Rebel groups claim that, after two weeks of bitter fighting, the city of almost 2.5 million people and linchpin of regime authority is almost within their reach.

However, as rebel reinforcements continued to pour in from elsewhere in the country ahead of an expected push early this week, regime troops were also bolstering defenses in areas they continue to hold, primarily in the west and center of the city.

The rebel force of about 6,000 fighters is being countered by a regime force thought to comprise at least double that number as well as large numbers of the loyalist Shabiha militia, many of whom come from Aleppo and have sworn to defend the city.

Rebel forces have advanced from the north-east and were on Saturday trying to dislodge loyalists who were fighting them on the approaches to the Maysaloon district. Capturing this would open access roads to the city center, where the fighting flared on Saturday.

It would also, potentially, open a way for rebels, who maintain a foothold in the southwest of the city, to link up with the new arrivals.

(story continues below)




Rebel groups say they plan to target the air force intelligence headquarters, among the most feared authorities in Syria's extensive security apparatus. Many of the Aleppo-based rebels claim to have spent time in the building's solitary cells and torture rooms.

"We are saving the tank shells we have for when we get access to the Air Force intelligence headquarters," said Mohammed Karim, from the rebel-held town of Azaz. "We will free the prisoners first, then destroy the building."

Other fighters said getting a foothold in the heart of the city would be difficult. "It could be another three to six months," said Hussein Shmaili, a police captain who defected.

Resting in a house on Aleppo's outer limits, Firas Abu Ayoub said: "The Shabiha are running the checkpoints. They are tough and they are are nasty and they want revenge for Zino Berri."

Berri, allegedly the chief financier and organizer of the Shabiha in Aleppo, was captured with his two sons on Wednesday and savagely gunned down following a brief show trial.

Video footage of the executions taken on mobile phones is being widely shared among rebel groups now advancing on Aleppo. Some rebel commanders are well aware of the damage the executions have done to their cause.

Partly in a bid to rectify the damage, a major from the city of al-Bab, 30 kilometers (about 15 miles) from Aleppo, took the Observer to meet a group of regime prisoners captured in a battle a fortnight ago. All were housed in a classroom on the top floor of a school.

"We were holding them before the Berris were caught," said Major Abu Mohammed al-Asmar. "And they have been treated like kings ever since they got here."

The prisoners, among them three junior Alawite officers and a Shia sergeant, slept on mattresses alongside captured Sunni conscripts. All claimed they would return home if freed.

"I just want a solution," said one of the Alawite officers. "Stability. Who really thinks about sectarianism here? Who doesn't want a state where people's rights are respected?"

None would answer a question about whether the fall of the regime or its continued rule over Syria would make a difference to their lives. And nor would they address a constant refrain among exiled Alawites: that neither rebels nor world leaders could safeguard their futures in the power vacuum that it is likely to follow the end of the regime.

"We don't want guarantees," said a second Alawite officer. "We just need peace."

Later, Major Abu Mohammed said: "We would swap all of these prisoners for just one of our men. The Alawites would return to the army. All of them."

As next week's showdown looms, fighters in the outskirts of Aleppo are continuing to ready for battle. In the early hours of Saturday, 60 members of the al-Bab brigade with bandanas and weapons they had captured from the prisoners now in the schoolhouse left for the front-line.

Aleppo's much-vaunted wealth is on clear display in many well-to-do streets and its commercial districts still appear to be functioning despite the onslaught.

Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, said in a statement during the week that the battle for the city would determine the future of Syria.

"That's the first thing he has said that I agree with," said Major Abu Mohammed. "It's also very important for the rest of the Middle East."

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian Middle East Correspondent Martin Chulov, reporting from Aleppo, Syria, in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/04/aleppo-syria-civil-war

Email To A Friend
Email this story to a friend:
Your Name:
Their Email:
 
Readers Comments
Add your own comment.
(Anonymous commenting now enabled.)

Creative Commons License
Free Internet Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. You may reuse or distribute original works on this site, with attribution per the above license.

Any mirrored or quoted materials may be copyright their respective authors, publications, or outlets, as shown on their publication, indicated by the link in the news story. Such works are used under the fair use doctrine of United States copyright law. Should any materials be found overused or objectionable to the copyright holder, notification should be sent to editor@freeinternetpress.com, and the work will be removed and replaced with such notification.

Please email editor@freeinternetpress.com with any questions.

Our Privacy Policy can be viewed at https://freeinternetpress.com/privacy_policy.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication: http://freeinternetpress.com/rss.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML News Sitemap