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Sun Aug 7, 2016, 03:00 AM

Syria’s rebels unite to break Assad’s siege of Aleppo [View all]

Source: Guardian/Observer

A Syrian military academy in the heart of Aleppo made for a bold, even reckless target for opposition forces trying to break a devastating siege, but the rebels gambled on a double advantage: surprise and suicide bombers.

Soon the rebels were sharing pictures of abandoned artillery and a smashed portrait of President Bashar al-Assad on Twitter, flaunted as triumphant proof that the army was routed and opposition forces were within a few hundred metres of their besieged comrades.

Hours later, the people of east Aleppo were dancing in the street, as rebels and activists confirmed that the month-long siege of the area had been broken. The fate of the opposition-held city was back in play. “Morale is very high now,” said activist and poet Mahmoud Rashwani, who had been living largely underground to avoid airstrikes, eking out his supplies of canned food.
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Last month, the faction severed those ties, changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and renounced international jihad, although observers said there was little sign of a parallel shift in ideology. Instead, experts reckoned the move was probably aimed at getting it off US airstrike target lists and easing coalitions with other factions.



Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/06/syria-rebels-unite-break-aleppo-siege

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