Damascus: Syrian rebels, after being retreated from the strategic key district of Aleppo due to heavy shellfire by the army, on Friday vowed to continue their fight in Aleppo against the government troops.
The new development came as the world powers were preparing to name veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as their new envoy to seek a peaceful and politically workable end to a 17-month uprising that has cost more than 21 000 lives.
The exiled opposition said that Aleppo’s historic citadel, part of a Unesco-listed world heritage site, had suffered damaged in the bombardment of rebel-held areas that has accompanied the army’s ground offensive in Syria’s commercial capital, now in its third day.
A rebel commander, Hossam Abu Mohammed, said his men were still fighting in parts of Aleppo’s southwestern district of Salaheddin after most fled on Thursday in the face of heavy bombing and advancing troops.
“We will not let Salaheddin go,” the Free Syrian Army’s Abu Mohammed told AFP by telephone as the third day of a government offensive to take the city raged.
The army again bombed parts of Salaheddin, as well as the Sakhur and Hanano districts in the east of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the latest violence killed two civilians, among 11 killed nationwide.
Just before dawn, a MiG 21 fighter jet dropped four bombs on rebel positions in Hanano, an AFP correspondent reported.
One struck the courtyard of the FSA headquarters in the neighbourhood and another a nearby house, wounding a number of people.
Angry residents shouted hostile slogans against France and the United States, saying: “No one is helping us.”
“We are behind the Free Syrian Army, but it is because of them that all of this is happening,” one of them lamented.