Syrian opposition opens secret office in Aleppo
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A Syrian rebel sleeps after returning back from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea on the outskirts of Aleppo city. AP photoThe main Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), has opened a secret office to attend to the needs of civilians in Aleppo, the SNC’s press officer told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.
“The office is located in the liberated area of Aleppo and we change the location periodically. There will be 10 members of the SNC based in the office within a few days,” Ahmad Halabi said. Halabi said SNC Executive Committee member Semir Nashar was already present in Aleppo as the representative of the SNC. “Semir Nashar has met Abdulkader Saleh, who is the regional leader of the Free Syrian Army [FSA] in Aleppo. The two of them have agreed to work more closely,” Halabi said, adding that most SNC members had family in Aleppo.
“We are there to be with our families, to work very closely with the FSA, and to help civilian people administer civilian life. We are trying to organize the field hospitals, health services, oil supplies, electricity, gas, Internet and more,” Halabi said. Fighting for control of central Aleppo is still ongoing, but the areas that have been taken under control by the FSA have not been lost yet. On the ground, Syria’s army pounded parts of the eastern belt of Damascus yesterday, where rebels claim to have downed an army helicopter, a watchdog said.
Car bomb kills 12
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported fierce shelling of the eastern neighborhoods of Zamalka, Qaboon, Jubar and Ein Tarma, while a rebel commander told Agence France-Presse that the army had also launched an offensive targeting the rural Ghuta area east of Damascus. A car bomb also killed 12 people at a funeral in the mainly Druze and Christian suburb of Jaramana on the southeastern outskirts of the Syrian capital, state television reported. “Another 48 people were wounded, many critically, in a terrorist car blast that targeted a funeral procession in Jaramana,” it said. Activists also reported heavy shelling by regime forces of rebel bastions in the commercial capital Aleppo, as well as in the northwestern town of Kafr Nabal in Idlib province, where it said at least 10 people died.
Meanwhile, Syrian military helicopters dropped thousands of leaflets over Damascus and its suburbs, urging rebels to hand over their weapons or face “inevitable death.” Some of the leaflets dropped, which were signed by the armed forces and the army’s general command, read: “No one will help you.
They have implicated you in taking up arms against your compatriots,” they said. “They drown in their pleasures while you face death. Why? And for whom?”