Residents Flee Fierce Aleppo Clashes amid Heavy Fighting in al-Raqqa

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Fierce fighting between Syrian rebels and regime forces has sparked an exodus of residents from the Sheikh Maqsoud district of the northern city of Aleppo, a watchdog group said on Sunday.

Violence also engulfed areas in and around Damascus, where children were among eight civilians killed in shelling of Kafar Batna village, while a missile slammed into Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus costing more casualties.

"The Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood has seen a major exodus after shells hit the area, destroying several homes," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse.

"Hundreds of cars carrying families were seen leaving the neighborhood."

Battles have been raging in the strategic, predominantly Kurdish neighborhood since Friday, as regime troops try to prevent rebels from advancing into the district.

Sheikh Maqsoud sits atop a hill, with vantage points over all of Aleppo. Its capture would be a key victory for the rebels, allowing them to target districts still in regime hands.

The battles have killed so far at least 43 people, including 15 civilians, 19 soldiers and pro-regime fighters as well as nine rebels, the Observatory said.

On Saturday, the Observatory and Syrian state media reported that rebels had killed a pro-regime Sunni cleric in Sheikh Maqsoud, dragging his body through the streets afterwards.

Sheikh Hassan Seifeddin "was killed overnight Friday by rebel fighters in the east of the area and his body was dragged through the streets," the Observatory said.

State news agency SANA reported that Seifeddin was "assassinated by terrorists who mutilated his body afterwards," while official television station al-Ikhbariya said he had been "slaughtered" and beheaded.

Elsewhere, SANA said "armed terrorists groups" has "set fire to three oil wells in the province of Deir Ezzor, after a dispute between them on sharing stolen oil."

The agency also reported claims that rebels forces were responsible for a "massacre" of at least 10 people in the town of Tal Kalakh in southern Syria, an accusation denied by opposition activists.

"Last night, terrorists committed a new massacre against peaceful citizens in the city of Tal Kalakh in the Homs countryside, storming the Burj neighborhood and killing a number of citizens, including women and children," SANA reported.

Activists pointed the finger of blame at government forces.

"The bodies of 11 people, including eight women, were recovered after they were executed during a raid by regime forces in the Burj neighborhood of Tal Kalakh today, according to activists in the area," the Observatory said.

In Damascus province, a car bomb exploded at a rebel checkpoint, killing at least five rebel fighters, the group added.

Meanwhile, the opposition Local Coordination Committees reported fierce clashes between regime forces and rebels in the vicinity of the headquarters of the 17th Brigade in al-Raqqa as warplanes waged several raids on the city's outskirts.

At least 53 people were killed in violence across the country on Sunday, according to a preliminary toll from the Observatory.

Speaking in front of some 250,000 people from around the world in the Vatican, Pope Francis prayed for "dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees who await help and comfort.

"How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?" he asked.

Comments 28
Thumb jumblatdedon 31 March 2013, 13:16

Iran is thirsty for some more sunni blood i see, they sent out their war machine to bring some more fresh meat for the butcher. Long Live the freedom fighters of Syria

Thumb jumblatdedon 31 March 2013, 13:35

Where are all the M8 snakes to paint a wonderful pro assad picture

Thumb sarkis 31 March 2013, 13:39

They are busy at the moment harassing & abusing normal Lebanese who are trying to earn an education at the University , once they are done swearing & m14s on the streets they will come here

Missing roxsheba 31 March 2013, 14:21

The only butchers' are these very people you support , animals , and you are one of them , who as a human would behead a cleric and parade his body through a public street , if that's not enough then placing his head on mosque's stairs!! You fanatical Sunnis and Dirzi are worse of the worse , your days will come , The US are not stupid , they are waiting for you all one by one to come out your holes . After that you know what would happen to you all , just wait and see , intelligence gathering is the best weapon !!

Thumb jabal10452 31 March 2013, 16:10

Tony two wrongs don't make it right. I am absolutely convinced that Assad and his regime committed unspeakable crimes and that Assad must be brought to justice one way or the other. But what some groups in the Syrian opposition have be doing is beyond medieval. They are acting just like the Talibans. Is this the new Syria that we are going to have next door?

Missing lebcan 31 March 2013, 19:11

roxsheba... don't be so naive that ASSad was always and still is an angel LOL... Please I don't know were the truth is coming from anymore BUT knowing the EVIL EVIL EVIL Assad's regimes history I can for Certainty and Absolutely NOT believe anything they say... PERIOD...

Thumb sarkis 31 March 2013, 13:37

& i hope bniko hafiz bi abro as well, I cant wait for the i see Bashar killed, He is one man i would pay to see get beheaded, all the killings , abductions & I will never ever forget the raping of our women done by the Syrian terrorist army by the orders of he alawi shia leadership

Missing abraham 31 March 2013, 14:08

@sarkis
you forgot when your boss massacred all those palastinians in Sabra and Shatilla

Thumb sarkis 31 March 2013, 14:29

Hobika paid for his sins

Thumb jabal10452 31 March 2013, 20:17

Mazbout!

Missing abraham 31 March 2013, 20:29

how about the doctor?

Thumb rover98 31 March 2013, 15:12

You discount 1400 yrs Christians were living under Islamic rule and although not perfect, were protected and prosperous and you ignore oppression and general corruption under Baathism that has bred nothing positive and it was A christian army that invaded Iraq and Palestine yet there was no backlash. Imagine Muslim invading America .

Missing abraham 31 March 2013, 20:32

your bodies so called Moslem nations, S.Arabia, Kewuit,and Qatar were the instigator, who provided all the logistics for Christian army to attack Iraq.
think a little bit

Missing roxsheba 31 March 2013, 22:07

I would rather live under the Shia Muslims than a Sunni lead regime anytime !!!

Missing peace 31 March 2013, 23:25

go to iran then roxsheba and enjoy their freedom....

Thumb LebCynic 31 March 2013, 15:45

Where does everyone think Syria is heading if FSA by miracle topples the Syrian presidency? Syria will be reduced to nothing but the dumping ground for every Islamic country that has an extremist group, just as Qatar, Saudi, Afghanistan and Chechnya are sending their extremist terrorists to fight the Syrian presidency. These rejects of Islam justify the killing of a cleric due to his opinion and believes, he was a moderate that disagreed with their extremist views and paid with his life and was humiliated after death. Is this the Syria that we want? Disagree and be killed!

Missing abraham 31 March 2013, 20:33

Why did the Lebanese allow Assads to do that to them
maybe The so called Lebanese leaders sold their soul to the devil

Missing roxsheba 31 March 2013, 22:07

True

Default-user-icon zahle1 (Guest) 31 March 2013, 17:09

Lebanon lost tons of Christians under Syria Josh. I would agree with the other countries but not Lebanon. The Christians in the other countries worked under the Baath, because the Muslims did not see them as a political force the same way as Lebanon. So in Lebanon they chopped us down. We left under Syrian control ya Josh and it worked. They won. Most of us left. I agree though that the Salafi and Wahhabi, Taliban, Al Qaeda are the biggest threat to us and Christianity though. There are Shiite extremists, but not as bad as Salafi/Wahhabi/Al Qaeda....

Thumb benzona 31 March 2013, 20:21

Sooner rather than later, this Ba'ath regime will join the other Iraqi Ba'ath regime. The dictator will also be found in some sewers. Nasrallah knows a lot about pipes and filth ^^.

Missing abraham 31 March 2013, 20:34

Ask the USA

Missing roxsheba 31 March 2013, 22:04

Agree with you 100% josh, if the Sunni /jihadist had their way there would have been a compete different blood bath during the civil war against the Christians , especially in Akkar province.

Missing roxsheba 31 March 2013, 22:15

You could never eat nor drink at a Sunni/ jihadist's place , you will never walk out alive ! To sleep at a dirzi residence ? These Druze will think you were a reincarnated enemy from his past life ! The dirzi will also kill you before sunrise !! As for a Shia Muslim at least you know you will survive his hospitality, alive ..

Missing peace 31 March 2013, 23:26

what a nice piece of nazi talk... you are even worse than those you criticize... aware of that fascist?

Missing beirutbastard00 01 April 2013, 06:44

Hahahaha what an idiot u r!!! Haha Druze will think ur a reincarnated enemy!!! Lol I was actually reading ur posts :p

Thumb neons 01 April 2013, 01:00

a nice report by BBC i think on teh surian refuge in arab countries http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XHFD0vHLRZ8#!
This is the freedom they fight for??? hahahahah allah yzidon balla w ta3tier

Default-user-icon abou ahamed (Guest) 01 April 2013, 03:22

the so called freedom fighters are nothing more than salafist bin laden hord warmongers bush beared styled with terror mentalities following orders and fatwas from soudi arabia money filty skeiks or salafist sheiks living in lebanon. soudi arabia pirates are doomed to failer, error never triumph. sunnas in syria are destroying syria. assad is innocent, soudi arabia is guilty. the war in syria is between bashar assad and soudi arabia skeiks and yet refugees are not going to soudi.

Thumb music66 01 April 2013, 09:18

You got a thumbs up from me on this one,,lol... I agree you got good and bad in everything, and everyone. Its too bad a few bad worms have to make an entire People look bad.:)