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Aleppo warfare draws tears, doubts from Damascus residents

08-15-2012 14:19 BJT

DAMASCUS, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- "I could no longer bear the pain to listen to the news from Aleppo. It is as if the daily fatality figures were draining blood from my vein. So painful."

As Damascus-based decorating company employee known as Adnan recounted her fear for the warfare in Syria's second largest city, her eyes were full of grief and tears were streaming down her cheeks

Fierce fighting in Aleppo between government forces and armed rebels has become a thorn in the flesh for many Syrians like Adnan.

Since government forces launched on July 22 a massive crackdown on the opposition in Aleppo, there have been daily updates of casualties and the intensive exchange of fire between the two sides has been rending the hearts of many in Damascus.

Aside from profound sadness, residents of the Syrian capital sometimes also feel baffled as state-owned media outlets and foreign news organizations are always giving conflicting reports about the situation in Aleppo.

"The government said almost on a daily basis that it has dealt a heavy blow to the 'terrorists,' but we could not see any recordings of what's happened on the ground. Instead, there are only clumsy computer-generated simulations on the TV," a Damascus resident who identified himself as Bassam told Xinhua.

"I do not know if we should laugh or cry over such parody. It only makes us worry more about possible sufferings imposed on the Aleppo people," Bassam said.

A civil servant named Shahin shared with Xinhua his similar thoughts.

"As the fighting turns increasingly tense, some independent Syrian TV channels start to give similar stories as those from the government. Meanwhile, the much-famed Al Jazeera has on-scene reports, but I do not buy its claimed neutrality since it is based in a country which supports Syria's opposition," Shahin said.

The city of Aleppo, deemed as the economic capital of Syria, is only 40 km away from the Syria-Turkey border. If armed rebels succeed in taking hold of the region, they could transport weapons and logistics materials directly from the base of "Syria freedom fighters" inside Turkey.

Given the strategic importance of Aleppo, government forces earlier this month sent thousands of well-trained "commandos" to confront rebels in street battles.

As Syrian civilians are hoping for an early end to the bloodshed, there is no sign as to which side would triumph in Aleppo.

Syria's official daily AL Baath said Tuesday that government forces have seized the two regions of Souq al-Hal and Saif al- Dawleh in Aleppo. However, the main armed opposition group Free Syrian Army denied being being defeated there.

The rebel group also made fresh calls to the international community to set up no-fly zones in Syria's war zones, claiming that the intensive aerial bombardment by Syrian troops makes it difficult for rebels to seize more areas.

Ahamad, a 45-year-old engineer, worried that if Aleppo were taken by armed rebels, the whole Syria would be thrown into the inferno of war.

"As far as I see it, the rebel fighters are cruel and belligerent and they give no heed to the lives of common people," he said.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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