Syria rebels planning to break Aleppo deadlock

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Rebels trying to break a months-long deadlock in their battle for Syria’s second city Aleppo say they are cutting supply routes ahead of simultaneous assaults on regime bases.

“The FSA (the rebel Free Syrian Army) is making new steps to liberate the city,” Hajji Anadan, the non-military chief of the Al-Tawheed Brigade headquartered in Aleppo, told AFP in an interview on Wednesday.

“We are focusing on military areas around Aleppo, the airports and the bases. And, thanks to God, we are surrounding them and step by step we will liberate them.”

The rebels are fighting regime troops at a base defending Aleppo’s international airport, a strategic facility in the southeast of the city.

“Base 80 is surrounded by the FSA. We are planning a big attack on that and on other bases, coordinated and simultaneous attacks,” Anadan said, without giving details.

“The FSA is surrounding the city and is moving on the airports. It is cutting off the routes so the army can’t get supplies or munitions,” he said.

“Nobody is bringing support for the army.”

The main city in Syria’s north, Aleppo, had around five million residents before the civil war upended their lives in July. Many were forced to flee their homes as vicious fighting erupted and the rebels grabbed eastern districts.

Each side blamed the other for two explosions on Tuesday at Aleppo University which killed at least 87 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria’s once, bustling and lively economic capital, Aleppo, is now similar to a ghost town, as it became a major battle ground between those opposition fighters and President Assad’s forces.

Al Arabiya’s correspondent recently entered some areas that are most affected by the war, such as the Old City where regime snipers are placed at various strategic points.

The streets of the Old City, once the busiest shopping centers in the country, are now and marred by bullets and scenes of destruction, reported Al Arabiya.