News Update :

Syrian army overruns part of Aleppo

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Aleppo assault ‘nail in Assad’s coffin’-Panetta
US: US Secretary of State Leon Panetta warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that if he continues this assault on his own population in Aleppo it will be a nail in his coffin.
“It's pretty clear that Aleppo is another tragic example of the kind of indiscriminate violence that the Assad regime has committed against its own people,” Panetta told reporters on a military plane en route to Tunisia.
“And in many ways, if they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people in Aleppo, I think ultimately it will be a nail in Assad's coffin.”AFP

SYRIA: The Syrian army on Monday overran part of the rebel-held Salaheddin district of Aleppo, the country's most populous city, a security source in Damascus told AFP.

“The Syrian army took control of part of Salaheddin district and continues its offensive,” the source said on the third day of an army onslaught against rebel districts in the northern city.

However, Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi, head of the Free Syrian Army military council of Aleppo, denied the report and insisted 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 told AFP by phone. Aleppo was opened as a battle front on July 20, and a regime assault on rebel-held areas began after military reinforcements arrived on Saturday.

Int’l community condemned
LEBANON: Syria's Muslim Brotherhood denounced on Sunday President Bashar al-Assad, his allies Iran and Russia, and the international community's for its “silence” and failure to protect civilians.

In a statement issued amid raging battles in Syria's commercial capital Aleppo, the influential Islamist movement said Assad was “legally and morally responsible for the death of every victim in Syria.” The Brotherhood also said that both Iran and Russia -- the powerful allies of the embattled Assad regime -- were “drowning in the blood of the Syrian people.” “Neither the Russians nor the Iranians will relieve (Assad) of responsibility for his crimes,” it added.

The Brotherhood also said the international community was “a partner” to violence in Syria, “by standing silent for too long... and failing to respect its obligation under international law to protect civilians.” Echoing a statement issued earlier on Sunday by the opposition Syrian National Council -- in which the Brotherhood plays an important role -- the exiled Islamist group warned of an imminent “massacre” in Aleppo.

Over 200,000 flee Aleppo - UN
The United Nations said Sunday that 200,000 people have fled the Syrian city of Aleppo in two days as President Bashar al-Assad’s forces step up their assault.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said in a statement that an unknown number of people are trapped in the city and appealed for safe access to Aleppo for aid groups.

The UN under secretary general said the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had estimated that 200,000 people have fled Aleppo and surrounding areas in the last two days.

Another Syrian General defects to Turkey
Another brigadier General has defected from Syria’s army to join the ranks of opposition fighters, pushing the total number of rebel generals based in Turkey to 28, a diplomatic source said Monday.

The General was accompanied by 11 other officers, the source added on condition of anonymity. Senior Syrian officers have been crossing over into Turkey to link up with rebel forces on a near daily basis in recent months, often accompanied by rank-and-file troops, to join the ranks of the Free Syrian Army.

Turkey is also home to some 44,000 refugees who fled the violence in Syria, currently housed in several camps established along the border.

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