News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Bogged Down in Aleppo

Scott Bobb
For months, rebels of the Free Syrian Army have been waging battles with government forces in parts of Syria's most populous city, Aleppo. The fight is largely at a stalemate with rebels kept at bay by government snipers and poundings by planes and helicopters.

In the divided Syrian city of Aleppo, rebels of the Free Syria Army are preparing a mission into the battle zone.

They hold a short planning session and then head out through a firefight along their street.

Inside the battle-scarred Old City, the frontline is constantly shifting. The rebels make advances, but often must retreat under government aerial bombardments against which they have no strong defense.

There are snipers on this street. The rebels rig a mirror to see around the corner. One throws a homemade grenade at the snipers drawing a quick response.

The fighters are retrieving the bodies of a family that was killed when a mortar hit their kitchen gas canister. Three children and their aunt died. The mother was wounded. The father died of a heart attack when he saw them.

Photo Gallery: Latest Images from Syria

  • Smoke rises from behind buildings after a shelling at Karm al-Jabal in northeast Aleppo, Syria, October 19, 2012.
  • Demonstrators hold opposition flags and banners during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in Houla near Homs October 19, 2012.
  • Smoke, caused by mortar bombs and gunfire during clashes between the Syrian Army and rebels, rises from the Syrian border town of Haram as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border near the town of Reyhanli in Hatay province October 19, 2012.
  • Destroyed houses, the result of shelling by Syrian government forces, in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs province, Syria, October 18, 2012.
  • A member of the Free Syrian Army holds up a poster of Hafez al-Assad, the father of current President Bashar al-Assad whose defaced picture hangs on a garbage bin in Aleppo, October, 17, 2012.
  • A family in a pick-up truck flees violence in the city of Aleppo October 17, 2012.
  • Syrians rescue people from under the rubble of a destroyed building that was attacked by a Syrian force airstrike, at Kfar Nebel town, in Idlib province, Syria, October 17, 2012.
  • A member of the Free Syrian Army patrols through the alleys of the old part of Aleppo, October 16, 2012.
  • Members of the Free Syrian Army and residents carry the body of Ammar Ibrahim Reslan, whom activists said was killed by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, near Idlib, October 16, 2012.
  • Syrian women work on their field in the village of Tarafat, Syria, October 14, 2012. The Aleppo rebellion started off in the rural areas of Aleppo province, not in the city as was the case in most other parts of Syria.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters are seen on the front line in Aleppo's Bustan Al-Basha district in Syria, October 15, 2012.
  • The Armenian plane that was forced to land at Erzurum Airport, eastern Turkey, October 15, 2012.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters in a storage room in the Karmal Jabl district of Aleppo Syria, October 14, 2012. Rolls of fabric are seen on the ground.

Abu Ahmed (not his real name) says the bodies have lain here for nearly two weeks. The rebels could not reach them because of the fighting.

"Just come and see, in the name of God, this is a humanitarian crisis," said Ahmed.  "The people are dying in front of us, and we can't do anything. Every day there is one, or two or ten cases like this."

It is an emotional moment, but still dangerous. To avoid the snipers they pass through apartment after apartment, using makeshift tunnels.

With citizens being wounded by the day across Aleppo, there appears little sign of ending the battles that have erupted over the last four months. Residents can only hope for an interlude as international efforts for a cease-fire continue.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs