[QODLink]
Middle East

Syrian rebels 'make advances' in Aleppo

Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups retake strategic area of city in apparent counter-attack against regime, activists say.

Last updated: 10 May 2014 11:17
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Fighters advance on the Syrian air intelligence base in Aleppo [Al Jazeera]

Rebel groups have regained an area of Aleppo near where fighters are laying siege to government troops holding the city's prison, according to activists.

Fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups were reported on Saturday to have retaken the area of Al Birej, which is located between the rebel-held district of Shiekh Najjar and the prison area.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights, a pro-rebel monitoring group, reported that 27 fighters were killed in that battle. Videos said to be of the fighting were posted on the Youtube website.

The clashes were an apparent counter-attack to the government's efforts to retake Sheikh Najjar district, opening a corridor beween Aleppo city and its countryside, and breaking the siege of Aleppo prison. 

Clashes were also reported on Friday in the west of Aleppo, near a government air intelligence base and Zahraa artillery base.

One video released on Youtube shows fighters advancing over open ground towards the air intelligence base, although its provenance could not be verified by Al Jazeera.

The fighting comes days after rebels blew up the city's Carlton hotel, which was being used as a barracks for government troops.

Residents return to Homs 

In the city of Homs, thousands of Syrians walked into war-battered areas for the first time in two years after the withdrawal of rebels in a ceasefire agreement with regime forces.

Men and women fanned out through rubble-strewn streets of the Old City area on Saturday checking what was left of their possessions. Some accused rebels of looting their homes. 

Government troops had blockaded the rebels and civilians in the area for months as the country's civil war raged around them. 

Activists say the three-year-old conflict has killed more than 150,000 people, and forced millions of civilians to flee their country.

307

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.