Aleppo 'is becoming Syria's Stalingrad'
The key battle of the Syrian war is now raging in Aleppo, the country’s largest and richest city. But, as Richard Spencer writes, the rebels remain defiant in the face of Assad's forces.
By Richard Spencer, Aleppo
An interesting account from Aleppo.
Calling every urban battle mess a Stalingrad is annoying.
I'd say this is a "Second Grozny" and "Second Beirut" but not much else above that level of hell. Though it certainly is probably the worst case of urban combat in the last potentially 20 years. Its main feature has been how long it has dragged out with such slow, hard-won gains by Assad's forces, a far cry from the decisive victory and slaughter of the FSA many were initially screaming.
The headline of the article is not good, as it is often the case with the headlines.
Asked about options such as imposing a no-fly zone over rebel-held territory, Clinton said these were possibilities she and Davutoglu had agreed "need greater in-depth analysis", while indicating that no decisions were necessarily imminent.
"It is one thing to talk about all kinds of potential actions, but you cannot make reasoned decisions without doing intense analysis and operational planning," she said.
http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topic...7&parent_id=17Suddenly, the slow rumble of a tank could be heard from one street over. “Tank, tank, tank,” yelled one man. Quickly, a rebel shifted an RPG over his shoulder and skipped down to squat on the rubble-filled ground.
“Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,” shouted one man, raising his arms over his head encouraging the men to join him. All 20 men screamed: “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar.”
Seconds later, the RPG goes off with a swoosh and boom.
“I got it, I got it,” cried the man who fired it, as his comrade prepared a new grenade, twisting its cone-shaped head onto the launcher.
Then the mundane bleep of a text message, a government announcement claiming its forces control Salaheddin and have cleansed it of rebels. The men laugh.
But minutes later, a tank shell flies overhead and explodes on a building nearby, deafening ears.
Then another tank shell booms, and the rebels fire another RPG, only to be met with a rain of mortar bombs filling the sky with smoke and shrapnel. “They’re going to send more mortars. Hide in the doorway,” Abu Yazen screams.
Panicked rebels told journalists to leave for their own safety.
“They’re taking revenge, they’re going to mortar this place to bits,” shouts one rebel waving his automatic rifle.
On the way back, more mortar rounds land and a nearby building is shelled, sending an electricity pole crashing down, cables swinging wildly to the ground. Five tank shells explode. The air is thick with hissing, burning, black smoke. Warplanes rumble overhead, firing downwards.
Rebels carve out large enclave in the North.
In recent months, Syria's rebels have extended control over a large swath of territory in the northeastern corner of the country after forcing the army from town after town in a string of bloody street battles.
As a result, for the first time in Syria's 17-month conflict, rebels have a cohesive enclave in which they can move and organize with unprecedented freedom, plus a long stretch of the border with Turkey key for moving out refugees and smuggling in weapons. They also have one official, working border crossing.
In Aleppo fierce battle insurgents and the Syrian army. The rebels claim to have occupied positions in the Salaheddin district, from which they previously "tactical" retreated. The army fought off attack on the international airport in the city. Fights again in Damascus.
The new abductions of journalistsClashes between government forces and rebels continued in Aleppo, where insurgents claim to have retaken positions in the military district Salaheddin.The rebels had earlier "tactical" retreated because of progression inside Salaheddin of government troops, while the authorities announce that they took full control of the district. Allegations of re-taking the position in Salaheddin not yet been independently confirmed. "Syria's Liberation Army has managed to take control of several strategic positions" in the main rebel stronghold of Salaheddin, said the commander of the rebel formations Saleh Abdel Kader.
"Conflicts are violent and do not stop the last 24 hours. Bombings are in several parts of Aleppo," said Saleh.
Syrian troops succeeded in repelling the rebel attack at the international airport in Aleppo, reported state news agency SANA. "Mercenary terrorists tried to attack the airport, but the army fought back, killing many of them", said the state agency. In recent conflicts, the Citadel of Aleppo, which is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, has suffered severe damage in the bombing.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the military apparently preparing a "major operation" and an attack on the quarter El Sukari, insurgent stronghold that was bombed this morning.
Syrian military said in early August that, after fierce clashes with the Syrian Liberation Army, took over full control of Damascus. In the capital gunshots and explosions of bombs are being heard. State television reported that two bombs exploded in downtown, but not reported on the possible victims. Violent clashes occurred in the fourth Tadamun in Damascus, a gunshot and explosions were heard in other parts of the Syrian capital, according to NGOs and rebels. In the province of Damascus, the army bombed the Deir El Asafir, where three people died, and the places Haraszti and El Tal, where the population flees.
In conflicts around Syria today, at least 39 people were killed, of whom 20 were civilians, nine soldiers and 10 rebels, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Great powers are prepared to appoint Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as his new envoy, who will assume the role of Kofi Annan in seeking solutions to the 17-month conflict in which 21,000 people were killed.
Three journalists and their Syrian driver, working for a pro-government TV station, were abducted while reporting on violence in the suburbs of Damascus, announced today their employer.
Director General of TV station Al Imad Ikbarija Sarah said that "armed terrorists" kidnapped three journalists and driver yesterday in the suburb of El Tal, and everything is being done to release them.
Plan for the worst scenario
source:U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in Istanbul that during the development of a plan of the two countries in the worst case scenario in Syria and use of chemical weapons against the rebels.
Hillary Clinton and Ahmet Davutoglu as the press conference said that their two countries form a working group to address the situation in Syria, which is increasingly deteriorating.
Lebanon must be the only government in the world which doesn't expell another country's ambassador when this country's military is giving explosives and cash to its local puppet to commit terrorist attacks. I guess terrorism from brotherly Syria is good enough. The "dissociation" was a joke already, now it is even worse.
I wonder what Assad will try next to destabilize Lebanon.
Government is accusing opposition of organizing arrest by police which government control? I don´t know what they smoke, but I want it.March 8th majority coalition which includes Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic movement have denounced the arrest of Samaha and considered it as part of March 14 campaign