Battle for Aleppo continues

Syrian activists say government forces launched a new bombardment of Aleppo Friday, continuing their offensive against rebel-held areas in the nation’s largest city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported new shelling in the commercial capital, as well as clashes between troops and rebels.

Journalists inside the city said government forces were able to recapture some territory Thursday, as many rebels pulled back farther north. The rebels have vowed to keep fighting, despite complaints that they are running low on weapons and munitions.

Rebel field commander Malek al-Kurdi told VOA’s Persian service on the Turkish-Syrian border that the rebels desperately need international help.

On Friday, Britain said it will give the rebels nearly $8 million for communications equipment and medical supplies. Foreign Secretary William Hague said in an article in the Times newspaper that relationships must be built now with “those who may govern Syria in the future.” The money will not be allocated for weapons.

Hague says Britain will also increase its contacts with the Syrian opposition. He says Britain will stress to the rebels that they must adhere to standards on human rights.

Meanwhile, diplomats say former Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi could replace Kofi Annan as the new United Nations-Arab League envoy to Syria.

Mr. Annan resigned from the post last week, blaming a lack of unity in the U.N. Security Council.

News reports indicate the replacement for the former U.N. chief could be named next week.


(Photo: Nathan.Bishop/