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article imageFSA Commander: Opposition control two-thirds of Aleppo

By Paul Iddon     Aug 21, 2012 in World
Aleppo - One of the top Free Syrian Army commanders has claimed that the rebels are in control of around two-thirds of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
ABC News and AFP report that top Free Syrian Army commander Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi states that the rebels have taken "control more than 60 percent of the city of Aleppo."
Mr. al-Okaidi went on to say that "each day we take control of new districts. The people are with us... How else do you think we could have lasted a month?"
al-Okaidi's claims were backed up by the former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab who defected earlier this month. He claims that, "The Syrian regime only controls 30 per cent of Syria's territory. It has collapsed militarily, economically and morally." He added that, "based on my experience and the post I held, that the regime has cracked."
The rebels have the upper ground in more than 30 districts in Aleppo. However a security source in Damascus was quoted as repudiating Mr. al Okaidi's claims stating they are "completely false," and states that, "The terrorists are not advancing, it is the army that is making slow progress."
The Battle of Aleppo has been raging for a year now. President Assad said a month ago that the battle for that city would be "the mother of all battles." The city has a population of some 2,700,000, 200,000 of which have been displaced.
A Japanese journalist named Mika Yamamoto was shot dead in the midst of clashes in the city on Monday. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights some 10 civilians were killed today, including two children and three women.
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