Published — Sunday 3 February 2013
Last update 3 February 2013 1:15 am
ALEPPO: Syrian warplanes raided a strategic district of the embattled northern city of Aleppo yesterday, a day after insurgents seized the neighborhood, a monitoring group said.
“Warplanes carried out several airstrikes on Sheikh Said” in southern Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, adding that fierce clashes pitted insurgents against troops in the heart of Syria’s second city. Fighters seized Sheikh Said on Friday, a resident and activists said.
“Rebel fighters seized total control of Sheikh Said in southern Aleppo, after troops exhausted by 48 hours of fighting withdrew from the district,” one resident of the area said on condition of anonymity. “Most neighborhood residents fled the area after rebels took control.”
The takeover was a strategic victory for the fighters, as it secured a key route linking Syria’s second city to its international airport.
According to Aleppo-based activist Abu Hisham, the battle for Aleppo’s airport has become a key opposition objective.
In Damascus, a blast in the central Shaghur district on Saturday injured one man, while fighters and troops clashed in Qadam in the east of the capital, said the Observatory, which is kept informed by a network of activists and media.
South of Damascus, the army pounded the opposition enclave of Moadamiyet Al-Sham. Rebels and troops also fought in Irbin and Daraya near Damascus, the Observatory said.