Syrian rebels say Aleppo theirs 'within days'

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July 31, 2012 16:58

 
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ALEPPO - Syrian rebels aim to push towards central Aleppo, capturing the country's biggest city within days despite being outgunned by President Bashar Assad's forces, a local rebel commander said.

Colonel Abdel-Jabbar al-Oqaidi, who defected from the Syrian army six months ago, told Reuters government troops had tried for three days to capture the south-western Aleppo neighborhood of Salaheddine, and Assad's soldiers were increasingly demoralized.

The fight for Syria's second city has become the focus of the 16-month-old rebellion against Assad, with rebel fighters confronting government forces backed by artillery and helicopter gunships.

"We don't have goals for the coming months. We have goals for the coming days. Within days, God willing, Aleppo will be liberated," said Oqaidi, dressed in green camouflage uniform at an Aleppo school which has been turned into a rebel base.

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