Syria battle rages on in badly beaten Aleppo
Syrian forces and rebels have clashed violently in and around Aleppo as the battle for control of the northern city raged into a third day, with both sides claiming advances.
The Syrian army claimed on Monday to have overrun part of the city’s rebel-held Salaheddin district, but the claim was denied by a Free Syrian Army commander.
“The Syrian army took control of part of Salaheddin district and continues its offensive,” a security source in Damascus said.
Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi, head of the FSA military council of Aleppo, insists that government troops had “not progressed one metre”.
“We launched a new assault from Salaheddin during the night, and we destroyed four tanks,” the rebel commander said by phone.
CNN reports the base had about 200 Syrian troops and appeared to be under attack by rebels from three sides overnight.
“The battle lasted around nine hours,” said Fazad Abdel Nasr, a rebel commander working in the northern Aleppo suburbs. Nasr said six regime soldiers and four rebel fighters were killed.
The rebels also gained heavy equipment to supplement the lesser weapons they had been fighting with.
“We captured four tanks in good condition, and they are now in the hands of the Free Syrian Army. Two were destroyed,” Nasr added.
Despite the boost for rebels, the relentless battle for Syria’s largest city raged on Monday. Regime forces launched missiles and shelled from attack helicopters, opposition activists said.
Outside of Aleppo, rebels seized a strategic checkpoint after a 10-hour battle, securing them free movement between the northern city and Turkey, a FSA commander said.
“The Anadan checkpoint… was taken this morning at after 10 hours of fighting,” said General Ferzat Abdel Nasser, a rebel officer who deserted the Syrian army a month ago.