Civilians Flee as Fighting Escalates in Syria’s Aleppo

US Accuses Military of Plotting 'Massacre' as Both Sides Send Reinforcements

Fighting continued again in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, and while it was reportedly even worse than days past the predicted “decisive” battle is still not on, with both sides adding reinforcements as fast as they can and civilians pouring out of town before the powderkeg blows up.

The US State Department, apparently no longer content to wait until things happen in Syria to condemn them, issued a condemnation of the Syrian military for engaging in battle preparations in Aleppo, saying they believed they were planning a “massacre.”

Rhetoric aside, however, Aleppo is Syria’s largest city and its financial hub, and both rebels and regime see the upcoming battle as a “must win.” Both sides are also predicting victory, although the regime is likely to have to rely more on tanks and air support while the rebels will be hoping their recent advantage in urban combat carries over.

The exact timing of the main Battle for Aleppo is unclear, but some sources have been reported in the media saying that fighting is likely to begin in earnest on Friday or Saturday. The rebels say they have avoided taking any serious losses in the clashes so far, and insist that virtually  everyone killed has been a civilian. Since they make this claim any time there is a battle this isn’t necessarily a huge revelation, however.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.