#Syria, shelling of Sabina, Damascus Suburbs
Frontline #Syrian Activist - Ross Domoney
Danny Abduldayem is a resident from Homs, Syria. He has provided crucial citizen journalism, documenting the atrocities which the Assad regime have committed against civilians. He has been seen infront of grainy camera footage often on the internet and t.v, often with shells falling all around him. Danny managed to escape Syria, and has been touring the world bringing awareness to the struggle of the Syrian people. In this film he is interviewed in Exarchia, Athens. He is now most probably back in Syria, on the frontline.
Aleppo, Syria’s second and largest city, has become a key battleground in the 17-month uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s government.
It is the country’s commercial capital and its biggest urban area near the border with Turkey where rebels have taken control of a number of border crossings.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched a major offensive in Aleppo a week ago but Bashar al-Assad’s army is launching a major push to drive out rebels fighters, taking two days to manouevre heavy weapons into positions around the city.
And in the surrounding countryside, the FSA appears to be making gains.
Activists say helicopter gunships are firing into the Salaheddine and al-Sukkari neighbourhoods. Explosions have also been heard in the al-Firdous neighbourhood.
And there have been reports of an exchange of gunfire near the Mahatet Baghdad railway station, as well as government army tanks in a number of other neighbourhoods.
In the town of al-Bab, just half an hour’s drive from Aleppo, al-Assad’s army has retreated to a base on the outskirts, from where it has been shelling the town and shooting at civilians.
The fighters are surprised at how much they have achieved in a matter of a few days. The catalyst, they say, was the killing of the military and security chiefs in Damascus. That blow against the regime gave them new confidence.
The FSA in al-Bab believes it is only a matter of days before the remnants of the regime’s army surrender.
The opposition fighters are much closer now to realising their objective and they are achieving it with home-made bombs hidden in trees, kalashnikovs, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades.
There is a lot at stake for both sides in this battle, so what are the government tactics to retake Aleppo?
Inside Syria, with presenter Laura Kyle, discusses with guests: Taha Ozan, director general of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research; Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general; and Monzer Eid al-Zamalkani, a research fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at Saint Andrews University.
29/07/12 Graphic Warning!
#Syria, FSA group doing emergency medical aid for few #Assad soldiers after thy controlled 1 of #Assad checkpoints in #Aleppo
#Syrian, destruction Assad’s forces have committed to residential homes in Idlib, Syria.
The Free Syrian Army has claimed more than 52 tanks have rolled into the district of Salah al Deen on the edge of Aleppo as government forces launch an assault to retake control of the city.
Activists say the fighting is concentrated in the southern and western suburbs.
There are numerous reports of heavy shelling and gunfights - there are also claims that the regime is using helicopter gunships in the assault.
Civilians caught up in the fighting are fleeing to northern parts of the city.
Human rights groups fear a massacre is unfolding.
Thousands of government troops have massed around the city over the last 48 hours.
The counter offensive by President Bashar al Assad’s forces comes after several days of intense fighting in which the Free Syrian Army has taken control of a number of neighbourhoods.
Aleppo, the second city is Syria’s largest; it is vital for the regime to keep it under its control as it is the commercial centre of the country and was until recently a bedrock of support for Mr Assad.
The FSA and other militia groups have been digging themselves in preparation for the fight.
A pro-Syrian government daily said that government forces were expecting the “mother of all battles”.
Syrian people leave the centre of Aleppo after shelling
The International Red Crescent has suspended its operations in Aleppo because of the escalating violence.
There have also been reports of fighting in other major cities around the country.
The volatile situation has caused more civilians to flee for their lives but reaching safety is hazardous.
An eight year old boy called Bilal has been buried in Jordan. His mother claims he was shot whilst trying to cross the border.
She said: “The Syrian army started shooting at us. We entered the Jordanian border, they rescued him but he was dead. He was shot in the head and the bullet left through his neck.”
According to the UN, more than 120,000 people have now fled the fighting to neighbouring countries but that figure is expected to rise.
But there are signs the regime is weakening.
Another high-profile defector has fled to Turkey. The MP Ikhlas al-Badawi is now urging others to do the same.
He said: “I have crossed to Turkey and defected from this tyrannical regime…. because of the repression and savage torture against a nation demanding the minimum of rights.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary William Hague has met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the crisis. He has called on Mr Assad to stop the fighting.
In a separate development, there has also been confirmation that Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing intelligence and weapons to the rebels.