It’s Heavy Artillery Versus Guerilla Warfare in Syria’s Largest City
(ALEPPO, Syria) -- Fighting between government troops and rebel forces in Syria's largest city of Aleppo intensified Monday as the military used artillery, ground forces and helicopter gunships on opposition strongholds.
There were reports that much of the violence is centered around Aleppo's southwest Salah al-Din area, one of the first neighborhoods taken over by rebels more than a week ago.
Syrian soldiers said late Monday that they won back control of Salah al-Din after fierce fighting but rebels deny that claim.
Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi of the Free Syrian Army asserted the government "had not progressed one meter."
Aleppo could wind up becoming the turning point in the 17-month-long conflict that has cost an estimated 20,000 lives as President Bashar al-Assad tries to keep power.
United Nations officials say 200,000 people have fled the city while civilians who stayed behind are facing dramatic food and power shortages.
Even as the rebels are outmanned by a military with far more equipment, they have launched a guerilla-style street offensive in their effort to win full control of Aleppo, located northeast of Damascus near the border with Turkey.
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