A Free Syria Army fighter waves from the top of a destroyed army tank in the town of Anadan on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (AP Photo)
BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say fighting in Aleppo has spread to new areas as rebels try to expand their hold inside Syria’s largest city.
Despite intense bombardment from government warplanes, helicopters and artillery, the rebels in Aleppo have now withstood two weeks of counterattacks by President Bashar Assad’s troops and are clawing toward the city center.
Local activist Tamam Hazem says fierce clashes are going on in Bab Jnein and Sabee Bahrat districts near the heart of Aleppo. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also says fighting Tuesday has extended to new parts of the city.
Aleppo is Syria’s commercial hub and lies close to the Turkish border, where rebels have their rear bases. If the opposition were to gain control of Aleppo, it would be a major blow to the regime.