Arab Today, arab today syria war of two cities
Last Updated : GMT 07:14:54
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Syria: War of two cities

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Syria: War of two cities

Damascus - Arabstoday

A new rebel group boasting some 1,000 fighters launched an operation Sunday to capture Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, while government troops using helicopter gunships and heavy artillery rolled back opposition gains in the capital Damascus. The spread of fighting into a second major metropolis displayed the rebels’ growing confidence even though they still can’t hold ground against the government’s heavy weapons, pushing Syria’s civil war toward a new phase of urban combat. However, a group calling itself the “Brigade of Unification” announced in an online video that it was launching an operation in Aleppo, Syria’s most populated city and a key commercial hub that has remained relatively quiet throughout the uprising. “We gave the orders to march on Aleppo with the aim of liberating it,” said Col. Abdul-Jabbar Mohammad Akidi, one of the group’s leaders. The push into Aleppo follows weeks of high-level military defections, soaring death tolls, fierce fighting near President Bashar Assad’s seat of power and a bomb blast that killed four top players in his regime’s efforts to crush those seeking to end his rule. Rebels also captured several border crossings with neighboring Iraq and Turkey. The opposition’s momentum put the regime on the defensive for the first time in the 16-month conflict. But while the gradual swelling of their ranks and increasing organization have allowed them to push into major cities, they remain largely unable to hold ground against Assad’s forces and helpless before his helicopters. The week’s violence pushed the death toll for the uprising above 19,000, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The group said July is likely to be the conflict’s deadliest month so far, with more than 2,750 people killed in the first three weeks – nearly as many as in the previous month. More than 100 people were killed Sunday, it said, including at least 24 government troops. The escalating fighting is feeding fears Syria’s war could spill across borders and spark a regional conflagration. Assad’s regime is a bridge between Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. On the other side, the uprising is largely driven by Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority, which has more natural links with the region’s Sunni nations such as Saudi Arabia. Complicating matters, almost all hate Israel – the closest U.S. ally in the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday said he feared chaos following Assad’s fall could allow Hezbollah to access Syria’s chemical weapons. No evidence has emerged of Hezbollah involvement in Syria’s unrest.Separately, the Israeli military said Sunday Assad is still in Damascus and retains the loyalty of his armed forces in the face of the advancing rebellion. Assad himself appeared on state TV Sunday receiving his new army chief of staff, Gen. Ali Ayyoub, whose predecessor was killed in Wednesday’s bomb attack. Assad has not spoken publicly since the attack and has appeared on TV twice. “The [Syrian] military is still loyal to Assad, despite a very big wave of defections, and he and his family are still in Damascus,” Brigadier Gen. Yoav Mordechai, chief spokesman for Israel’s armed forces, said in an Israeli TV interview. Throughout the conflict, Syria’s rebels have been outgunned by Assad’s army, fully equipped with a modern arsenal largely bought from Russia. Rebel brigades are mostly local groups with light arms and little coordination outside of their immediate area. The new rebel group announced its formation in another video this week that showed about 1,000 fighters, most wielding rifles, wearing camouflage and chanting “God is great!” In that video, a spokesman lists more than a dozen rebel groups from towns near Aleppo that have joined. Little is known about the group, and messages sent to its Facebook page and YouTube account were not immediately answered. But the force in the video is much larger than that of other known rebel groups. In Sunday’s video, Akidi called on government troops to defect to the opposition and said fighters would protect members of Assad’s minority Alawite sect. “Our war is not with you, but with the Assad family,” he said. Fighting broke out in neighborhoods around Aleppo, according to the Observatory and Aleppo-based activist Mohammad Saeed, but focused around the northeastern neighborhood of Al-Sakhour and the southwestern Salaheddine area. One video posted online Sunday shows dozens of cars and trucks full of rebel troops heading toward the city before dawn. Other videos show them blazing through a neighborhood full of cheering bystanders and shooting at a truck at a regime checkpoint until it bursts into flames. Syrian state TV said the army was hunting down “terrorists” – the government’s shorthand for the rebels – and had killed a large number of them. It was not possible to independently confirm government or activist claims, and one Aleppo resident reached by phone said fighting was still confined to small parts of the city of 3 million residents. Still, while rebels may attack government checkpoints and convoys, they lack the arms to strike helicopters and can do little against tanks – weapons the regime is using more frequently. In Damascus, the government appeared to have turned the tide against rebel advances over the last week. The Observatory said the army had sent troops and tanks to besiege a rebel-held part of the southwestern Mezzeh neighborhood and that dozens of people were wounded in shelling. One Damascus resident told The Daily Star via email he was watching as a helicopter rained bullets over the neighborhood, saying the aircraft appeared to be intermittently returning to the Mezzeh airbase for refueling. Regime helicopters fired heavy machine guns at other rebellious areas while troops carried out arrest raids, leaving at least four people dead in the northern district of Barzeh. An activist and witness reported members of a Syrian army division under the command of Assad’s brother, Maher, who heads the feared armored 4th division summarily executed several young men there. State TV denied government forces used helicopters in Damascus and said the capital was calm as troops mopped up remnants of the “terrorists.” Reflecting the seesaw nature of the fighting, rebels captured one international border crossing Sunday while apparently losing another. A video posted online Sunday showed about a dozen gunmen raising the opposition flag on Syria’s Bab al-Salameh crossing with Turkey. It was the second Turkish crossing captured in a week. Syrian government forces retook control of Rabiya crossing with Iraq after rebel forces pulled out, Iraqi military officials said. Further south, sounds of battle could be heard from the larger Bukamal crossing, which rebels seized Thursday. Late Sunday, it was unclear who controlled the crossing.  

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today syria war of two cities Arab Today, arab today syria war of two cities


Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi Kataya explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 16:50 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Syrian army advances against IS in Deir al-Zour city

GMT 22:49 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Syrian army takes district near Aleppo

GMT 13:03 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

At Least 44 ISIS Militants Killed in Northern Syria

GMT 14:20 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

16 ISIS Militants Killed in Northern Syria

GMT 13:11 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

At Least 28 ISIS Militants Killed in Northern Syria

GMT 20:16 2017 Monday ,20 February

SDF retake 2 more villages eastern Riqqa
View News in Arabic - Country: سوريا
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Nissan enhances sales in most markets

GMT 14:08 2017 Monday ,20 February

Nissan enhances sales in most markets
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 07:51 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Mom's immune system accepts babies

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday