Syria rebels seize government town in Aleppo province

BEIRUT Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:13am EDT

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels seized the northern town of Khan al-Assal on Monday, activists said, one of the last towns in the western part of Aleppo province that was held by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

An army build-up around the province in order to retake Aleppo city has been dogged by rebel counter-attacks, although a string of government victories elsewhere in Syria has shifted the battlefield tide in Assad's favor after more than two years of bloodshed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring group, said army officers surrendered the town on Monday morning after rebels surrounded a southern district.

Video footage posted on the Internet by rebel groups showed army tanks withdrawing from the town. Another video showed a dead commander who rebels said led the government resistance in the town, which has been besieged for weeks.

Aleppo is part of a crescent of regions in northern Syria that have become a stronghold for rebels fighting to end four decades of rule by the Assad family.

Insurgents have been blockading government-held areas in Aleppo city, Syria's largest urban center and once its commercial hub. Aleppo has been mired in a bloody stalemate since rebels launched an offensive in the province last year.

Assad's forces have responded to the rebel advance on Khan al-Assal with a string of air raids in the area.

The Observatory says more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria's insurgency, which grew out of street protests in the southern town of Deraa in March 2011. Millions of people have been displaced and ancient buildings and artefacts have been destroyed across the major Arab state.

(Reporting by Oliver Holmes and Reuters TV in Beirut; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (3)
Khantona wrote:
If you are interested to read different article about Khan al-Assal.

Here is one from SANA, as of July 22.

Provinces, (SANA)- Units of the armed forces Monday foiled terrorists’ attempt to detonate explosive devices in Um al-Tababir village in Palmyra countryside in Homs, killing and injuring a number of terrorists.

An official source told SANA reporter in Homs that terrorists’ gatherings were destroyed in Bab Hood, Jouret al-Shayyah, al-Hamidieh, al-Warsheh, al-Qusour and near Sakiet al-Rai in al-Karabis.

The source added that members of the armed terrorist groups were killed in al-Hosn and al-Zara and Kfer Laha groves in Homs countryside.

A unit of the army foiled terrorists’ attempt to detonate 3 explosive devices near Um al-Tababir village on Palmyra-Homs highway, killing and injuring the terrorists who were planting the devices, the source said.

A military source said that a unit of the armed forces confronted terrorists’ attack on a military checkpoint in al-Ghanto village in Homs countryside, killing all of them and destroying their weapons.

Dens and leaders of terrorist groups targeted in Damascus

Meanwhile, an official source told SANA reporter that a den for the leaders of the so-called “Al-Islam Brigade’ was destroyed in Barzeh neighborhood in Damascus along with all the weapons and ammunition inside it. The leader of one of the armed terrorist group Eid al-Ashi and all members of his armed group were killed.

The source added that units of the armed forces continued pursuing terrorists in al-QKaboun neighborhood, killing dozens of them, injuring others and destroying their weapons.

An army unit discovered a tunnel in Joubar neighborhood in Damascus countryside that is equipped with surveillance cameras. A number of explosive devices were found inside the tunnel.

In Harasta, the Army destroyed terrorists’ equipment and artillery, including a heavy machinegun, south of Shammout Car Company.

Army units killed and injured a number of terrorists in the areas of Adra and Erbin, in addition to carrying out a special operation in Douma area which resulted in eliminating terrorists and destroying their weapons and equipment.

The Army continued operations in the town of Deir Salman, eliminating a number of terrorists from a group calling itself “Ansar al-Haq brigade.”

Army units carried out several operations against terrorist gatherings in Bebila, resulting in destroying artillery in a terrorist hideout and eliminating most of the terrorists inside it.

In the town of Hejjeira, an Army unit killed and eliminated a number of terrorists and destroyed a mortar launcher and a heavy machinegun, while another unit carried out an operation in al-Hajar al-Aswad targeting a terrorist hideout which left many terrorists dead or injured.

An Army unit pursued a terrorist group in the mountains near Halboun town, leaving most of the group’s members dead or injured.

Army units eliminate terrorist, destroy their weapons and ammo in Aleppo

Army units destroyed weapons and ammunition which terrorists were transporting in cars coming from Turkey and headed to Daret Azza in Aleppo province, killing and injuring all the terrorists inside the cars.

An Army unit clashed with terrorists from Jabhet al-Nusra in Khan al-Assal area Aleppo’s southwestern countryside, eliminating most of them, while another unit eliminated terrorists and destroyed their weapons and ammo east of Atareb and west of Khan al-Assal.

The Army foiled terrorists’ attempt to sneak into the village of al-Aziza in Aleppo’s southern countryside, eliminating most of them and destroying their weapons which included heavy machineguns, in addition to destroying terrorist gatherings in al-Wedehi village.

In Aleppo’s western countryside, Army units carried out a special operation which resulted in destroying terrorist gatherings in al-Layramoun area, while another unit prevented terrorists from sneaking into Dahret Abdrabbo from Kafr Hamra, leaving most of the terrorists dead or injured.

The Army eliminated terrorists from Jabhet al-Nusra in various areas around Aleppo Central Prison, in addition to destroying weapons and ammo which were being transported in 4 cars near Mennegh village, eliminating the terrorists inside the cars.

In the village of al-Mansoura, an Army unit destroyed a weapons and munitions warehouse and eliminated all members of a terrorist group.

In Aleppo city, Army units eliminated terrorist gatherings in the outskirts of al-Rashidin neighborhood, near al-Kallaseh police department, Ansari park, al-Sakhour Square, and the youth housing in al-Ashrafiye, while other units clashed with terrorist groups which were trying to sneak into secure areas in al-Amiriye and Salaheddin neighborhoods, eliminating all the groups’ members.

Army eliminates terrorists in Deir Ezzor

Army units clashed with terrorists who were attempting to smuggle weapons and ammunition into Deir Ezzor city, eliminating and injuring a number of terrorists and destroying the weapons and the car they were loaded in.

Other units clashed with terrorist groups in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Yassin, al-Hamidiye, al-Rushdiye and al-Huwaiqa in the city, leaving most of the terrorists dead and destroying their weapons and ammo, including heavy machineguns.

In Deir Ezzor countryside, an Army unit destroyed terrorist hideouts in the town of Muhassan, killing all the terrorists inside them including Ahmad al-Haj and Amin al-Hassem.

Army confiscate heat-seeking missiles and sniper rifles in Hasaka

Army units confiscated 6 heat-seeking missiles, a sniper rifle, an RPG rifle, three explosive belts, ammunition and and communication devices in a terrorist hideout in the village of al-Mughira in al-Hasaka countryside, eliminating a number of the terrorists inside the hideouts and injuring others.

An Army unit destroyed a number of terrorist hideouts in Sabah al-Kheir area southwest of al-Hasaka city, destroying a number of mortar launchers, heavy machineguns, assault rifles and ammo and leaving the terrorists inside them dead or injured.

A terrorist hideout was destroyed in the village of al-Arisha south of al-Haska, while the people of al-Atalah village kicked out a terrorist group which had snuck into the village and set up base in two schools in the village.

Jul 22, 2013 11:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
yeah i dreamed of myself yesterday as superman but then i woke up.

Jul 23, 2013 2:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TruWorldPeace wrote:
This must be a really cheap lie. Even Al Jazeera could not copy this story.

Jul 23, 2013 12:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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