Yassin ducks as army snipers fire across the street. He grabs his assault rifle, runs out from the protection of the arcade and fires back two or three times. Other rebels are positioned across the street. They provoke the soldiers by setting posters of Assad on fire and tossing them into the street.
Civilians keep getting caught in the middle of these unpredictable firefights. Three men and a boy carrying shopping bags are on their way home, and they have to cross the street, directly through the line of fire. They start running together. A bullet hits the oldest man in the left arm. Yassin zips over to him in a white car, pulls him into the passenger seat and speeds back. The wounded man moans, but luckily there is a hospital less than 10 minutes away, in the Shaar neighborhood.
The nurses there place the man on a chair and begin cleaning the exit wound. A girl, perhaps 3-years-old, lies dead on the floor next to the chair, her face and clothing covered with gray dust. The child's feet were torn off by an aerial bomb dropped by Assad's forces. At the moment, no one has time to tend to the body.
Assad's jets are attacking rebels in the city with increasing frequency, dropping bombs and firing rockets and aircraft cannon. They also attack at night, and there is no protection against them, especially for children, women and the elderly. Hundreds of people are fleeing the city every day, creating a stream of Syrian refugees that is even further destabilizing the region. According to the Reuters news agency, Jordanian and Syrian troops clashed on Friday night when refugees were trying to cross the border.
Remembering The Fallen
In Aleppo, rebels and army forces waged an especially fierce battle over the Salaheddin neighborhood last week. Nur al-Islam, a 24-year-old English teacher, is sitting in front of a computer nearby, at a desk in a police station that now serves as the headquarters of an FSA unit. Fighters on the steps in front of the building are preparing six welded steel pipes packed with explosives. The improvised bombs are capable of destroying a tank, as long as they can be brought close enough.
Nur al-Islam has become accustomed to such scenes. She works for the rebels as a computer expert, and she also organizes accommodations, distributes food and bandages the wounded. She is one of the few women among the rebel ranks.
Her parents still support Assad, says al-Islam. "But I was sympathetic with the opposition from the very beginning. I can't understand why my parents want to give up freedom. But Aleppo is a stronghold of Assad supporters."
A group of fighters show up to stand guard. They have brought with them five wounded men and a dead one.
Al-Islam goes outside to photograph the body with her cell phone. The fighters want to remember their fallen comrades, but there are many of them. They have to be photographed so they won't be forgotten.
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Spiegel journalist Kurt Pelda in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/world/inside-aleppo-with-syrian-rebel-fighters-a-850002.html
This article was translated from the German for Spiegel by Christopher Sultan.