The head of Syria’s Olympic team at the London Games is choosing his words carefully to describe the ambitions of the country’s athletes and the government, whose forces were bombarding his home city of Aleppo.
Three Syrian athletes were competing on the first full day of competition in swimming, shooting and boxing Saturday. Back home, the army pounded Aleppo by helicopters to flush out rebels.
Baher Khayata told The Associated Press he was worried about his family, trapped in Aleppo during one of the most significant battles of the 17-month uprising in Syria.
He said the army was trying to “protect people and keep them safe,” and that expelling armed opposition members from Aleppo “is maybe the way to stop bloodshed throughout Syria.”