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‘Grim Routine’ Sets in For Rebel Opposition As Aleppo Battle Reaches Three Weeks

August 8, 2012 at 12:00 AM EDT
The fight for Aleppo began three weeks ago, on the first day of Ramadan. Though rebel forces made some key advances, Syrian government troops surrounded the city. And now, as the days pass, the rebels face a constant struggle to hold their ground. James Foley of GlobalPost reports from rebel-controlled Aleppo.
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JEFFREY BROWN: GlobalPost correspondent James Foley has been in Aleppo for 12 days and filed this report on what life is like in a rebel-controlled neighborhood there.

A warning: His report contains pictures some will find disturbing.

(GUNFIRE)

JAMES FOLEY: A grim routine has taken hold in the fight for Syria’s largest city. Army bombers strafe neighborhoods across Aleppo, while opposition fighters struggle to hold ground with much less powerful weapons.

MAN: This way, we will take out this president. Second way, we die. We have no third way.

JAMES FOLEY: The fight for Aleppo began some three weeks ago on the first day of Ramadan. As rebel forces took over some city neighborhoods, the army surrounded the city, helicopters began firing on rebel strongholds, and a week later, the jets started bombing.

MAN: Look at the buildings here. All the buildings are destroyed because of them.

JAMES FOLEY: This barbershop owner tries to salvage what he can from his shop in the neighborhood of Salahedddine, which has seen some of the most intense fighting.

MAN: Now I don’t know where I will go. I don’t know where I will go.

JAMES FOLEY: There are no soiled estimates of victims killed, but activists say at least 300 have died.

Nur Curea has been searching for missing relatives after a bomb struck their building.

NUR CUREA, Syria: Now I found two. I saw with my eyes my brother and his daughter, dead. And one is totally damaged. They are now trying to save his life.

JAMES FOLEY: He just found the body of his niece and nephew at one field hospital.

NUR CUREA: There is another in here.

JAMES FOLEY: The fighting continues day and night. Both sides are sending in reinforcements. The price may be the destruction of Syria’s most populated city.

JEFFREY BROWN: That was GlobalPost correspondent James Foley.

In an update filed a short time ago, he reports that Syrian army tanks are now in the center of the Salaheddine neighborhood.