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Aleppo

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NEWS
February 3, 2013 | By Barbara Surk, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian rebels captured a strategic neighborhood near Aleppo's international airport on Saturday, putting opposition fighters in control of a road that the regime has used to ferry supplies and reinforcements to soldiers fighting in the embattled northern city, activists said. Elsewhere in the nation, fighting continued unabated, killing more than 60 people nationwide, according to activists. Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels have been locked in a deadly stalemate in Aleppo, Syria's largest urban center and main commercial hub, since an opposition assault last summer.
NEWS
September 9, 2012 | By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The Syrian regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling Saturday as ground forces seeking to regain momentum in the country's largest city advanced on three neighborhoods, activists said. Shelling and air raids against the eastern Helwaniyeh neighborhood caused a large number of casualties, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and another activist group called the Local Coordination Committees. Amateur videos showed wounded people bleeding on the floor of a crowded makeshift hospital as they received treatment.
NEWS
December 17, 2012 | By Barbara Surk, Associated Press
BEIRUT - An Islamist faction of Syrian rebels captured an infantry base in the northern city of Aleppo, its fighters said Sunday, as forces fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad advanced on the country's largest city. Also Sunday, Syrian warplanes blasted a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus, killing eight people and wounding dozens, activists said. Some Palestinian groups in the Yarmouk camp have been backing Assad's regime. The infantry base was the second major army installation taken by rebels in a week in Aleppo.
NEWS
September 10, 2012 | By Jamal Halaby and Albert Aji, Associated Press
AMMAN, Jordan - A car bomb ripped through Syria's largest city of Aleppo on Sunday, killing at least 17 people and wounding 40 in one of the main battlegrounds of the country's civil war, state-run media said. State-run TV aired footage of fire trucks trying to extinguish the blaze and rescue workers digging through mounds of rubble. Aleppo's governor, Mohammed Wahid Akkad, was quoted by Syria's official news agency, SANA, as saying the 17 dead were civilians. The fight for Aleppo, a city of three million that was once a bastion of support for President Bashar al-Assad, is critical for both the regime and the opposition.
NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Barbara Surk, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Western-backed opposition fighters and a faction of al-Qaeda-linked rebels turned their guns against each other Saturday in Syria's largest city, battling for control of a key checkpoint in the latest eruption of infighting among the forces trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad's regime, activists said. The clashes between rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant underscored the growing phenomenon of rebel-on-rebel violence that has sapped strength from the broader anti-Assad movement.
NEWS
September 29, 2012 | By Karin Laub, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Rebels on Friday pressed their broadest assault yet to drive President Bashar al-Assad's forces out of Syria's largest city, activists said, with fierce fighting erupting in an Aleppo neighborhood that is home to Kurds, an ethnic minority that has mostly stayed out of the civil war. In Washington, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said intelligence suggests Assad has moved some of Syria's chemical weapons to better secure them....
NEWS
July 31, 2012 | By Bassem Mroue and Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BUKULMEZ, Turkey - Smoking a cigarette outside a Turkish hospital near the Syrian border, a man in a gray gown and flip-flops held his sleeping 2-year-old daughter, Aya. On Aya's right eye was a bandage. In her left hand was a chocolate bar. Aya lost her eye when she was struck by shrapnel from a shell that also killed her 8-month-old brother, Mohammad, and their mother. The father and daughter were among about 200,000 people who the U.N. said have fled Syria's largest city, Aleppo, during days of clashes between rebels and the military.
NEWS
June 16, 2013 | By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS - Syria's government used the nerve agent sarin on two occasions in the embattled city of Aleppo in March and April, according to a letter from a top U.S. diplomat that the Associated Press obtained Friday. The letter from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also cited two other incidents of possible chemical weapons use by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The White House announced Thursday that it had firm evidence of chemical weapons use by Assad's regime, and U.S. officials said President Obama has authorized military aid to Syria's rebels.
NEWS
June 24, 2013 | By Albert Aji and Barbara Surk, Associated Press
DAMASCUS, Syria - Suicide bombers targeted security compounds in Damascus and a car bomb exploded in a pro-regime district there Sunday, killing at least eight people, the latest in a surge of civil war violence in the capital. In northern Syria, a car bomb killed 12 soldiers in Aleppo, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists in Syria for information. It had no other details, and the government did not comment. In neighboring Lebanon, meanwhile, fierce clashes erupted between the Lebanese military and supporters of a hard-line Sunni Muslim cleric, in the latest spillover from Syria.
NEWS
August 14, 2011 | By Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
Two days before black smoke left a pall over Hama, a bloodied symbol of the uprising against the government of Syria, the country's second-largest city, Aleppo, held a cultural festival featuring a 3,600-foot-long Syrian flag wrapped around its ancient citadel. On one of the city's main streets, families have still gathered every night on the sidewalks and in the medians for nighttime picnics. Vendors crowd around selling hookahs, popcorn, sandwiches, and coffee. Traffic moves slowly as people park cars by the sidewalk and open doors and windows to let music stream out to entertain the crowds.
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NEWS
December 5, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
When Staffan de Mistura took over as special United Nations representative on the Syria crisis - with the task of ending the violence - he faced a mission impossible. Three years of brutal civil war have smashed the country to bits, with major cities reduced to rubble. About 200,000 Syrians have died, eight million (out of a population of 22 million) are internally displaced, and three million are refugees in neighboring countries. The chaos has spawned ISIS. De Mistura's two predecessors, both distinguished diplomats, gave up after failing to jump-start a broad peace process in Geneva.
NEWS
January 24, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
On a trip last month to the Turkish-Syrian border, I met an impressive young Syrian opposition journalist named Adnan Hadad, who had just fled Aleppo because he was being targeted by both the regime and al-Qaeda militants. When talks finally began in Switzerland Wednesday between the Syrian regime and opposition, a testy exchange between Hadad and Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoubi caught my eye. At a press conference, Hadad asked Zoubi to comment on the deadly barrel bombs being dropped by government planes on civilian neighborhoods in Aleppo.
NEWS
December 23, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
GAZIANTEP, Turkey - The three young Syrian women had managed to escape from the rebel-held section of Aleppo for a few days' rest across the border in Turkey. Asma, 26, a university graduate in English literature, has been volunteering for the past two years as a nurse in a field hospital, treating civilian victims of the war, which has divided Aleppo into conflict zones held by the rebels and the regime. Salam, 30, and Islam, 28, sisters who were teachers before the war, are volunteers in an orphanage that shelters 650 children who lost parents in the fighting.
NEWS
November 22, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Two Syrian rebel commanders whom I interviewed a year ago have been in the news this month, and their stories are important. Abdul Kader Saleh, one of the most charismatic Syrian rebel leaders, was killed by a regime air strike in northern Syria last weekend. Saleh commanded the al-Tawheed Brigade, the most important rebel force in the crucial Aleppo region, with 10,000 fighters. His death came amid a wave of rebel setbacks, as regime forces advance on Aleppo. Then there is Col. Abdul Jabbar Akaidi, another key Aleppo commander, and a defector from the Syrian army, through whom U.S. officials had distributed much of the limited, nonlethal aid they provided to Syrian rebels in the north.
NEWS
August 5, 2013 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
As brutal images of children killed in Syria's civil war flashed on a screen inside a gym at the Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova on Saturday, a woman in a brilliant blue head scarf sat in the audience of 100 men and women and quietly sobbed. Born in Damascus 39 years ago, she lives in Valley Forge now, but still has family in the war-torn country. For reasons of their security, she asked to be identified only by her first name, Rabab. "I am a mother," Rabab said, explaining her tears.
NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Barbara Surk, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Western-backed opposition fighters and a faction of al-Qaeda-linked rebels turned their guns against each other Saturday in Syria's largest city, battling for control of a key checkpoint in the latest eruption of infighting among the forces trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad's regime, activists said. The clashes between rebels affiliated with the Free Syrian Army and fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant underscored the growing phenomenon of rebel-on-rebel violence that has sapped strength from the broader anti-Assad movement.
NEWS
July 9, 2013 | By Diaa Hadid, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Shells smashed into a central prison in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo, killing prisoners, a rights group said Sunday, part of a long battle for control of the ancient city. The explosions killed six prisoners, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which communicates with a network of activists on the ground. The explosives hit Friday night, the Observatory said. It was not clear who fired the shells. In fighting across Syria, the group reported, about 70 soldiers and fighters were killed Sunday, as well as 40 civilians.
NEWS
June 24, 2013 | By Albert Aji and Barbara Surk, Associated Press
DAMASCUS, Syria - Suicide bombers targeted security compounds in Damascus and a car bomb exploded in a pro-regime district there Sunday, killing at least eight people, the latest in a surge of civil war violence in the capital. In northern Syria, a car bomb killed 12 soldiers in Aleppo, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists in Syria for information. It had no other details, and the government did not comment. In neighboring Lebanon, meanwhile, fierce clashes erupted between the Lebanese military and supporters of a hard-line Sunni Muslim cleric, in the latest spillover from Syria.
NEWS
June 16, 2013 | By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS - Syria's government used the nerve agent sarin on two occasions in the embattled city of Aleppo in March and April, according to a letter from a top U.S. diplomat that the Associated Press obtained Friday. The letter from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also cited two other incidents of possible chemical weapons use by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The White House announced Thursday that it had firm evidence of chemical weapons use by Assad's regime, and U.S. officials said President Obama has authorized military aid to Syria's rebels.
NEWS
June 15, 2013 | By Zeina Karam and Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Hezbollah's leader vowed Friday that his militants would keep fighting in Syria "wherever needed" after the United States agreed to arm the rebels in the civil war, setting up a proxy fight between Iran and the West that threatens to engulf more of the Middle East. President Obama has deepened U.S. involvement in the conflict, authorizing lethal aid to the rebels for the first time after Washington said it had conclusive evidence the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons. Syria accused Obama of lying about the evidence, saying he was resorting to fabrications to justify his decision to arm the rebels.
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