Middle East

Syria rebels say intelligence branches next Aleppo target

Members of the Free Syrian Army get ready after they were told a tank belonging to forces loyal to President Bashar Assad is heading to their area in Aleppo's district of Salah Edinne July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

BEIRUT: Rebels in Syria have now set their sights on seizing intelligence branches in the country's commercial capital of Aleppo after taking three police stations there, a rebel commander told AFP on Wednesday.

The rebels seized three police stations on Tuesday: in Bab al-Nayrab, the southern district of Salhin and in Hanano. Rebel leader Ferzat Abdel Nasser called the takeovers "a small victory that is good for morale."

"But the most important thing is to take over the intelligence branches," said the general, who deserted from the Syrian army a month ago. "If these sites fall, victory is possible."

An AFP correspondent in Aleppo on Tuesday witnessed the rebel seizure of the Salhin police station, the largest in the south of the city.

They also executed a general the rebels said was known for taking part in the bloody repression of the Syrian revolt, which is now in its 17th month.

The conflict in Aleppo has raged since July 20, with regime troops and rebels sending reinforcements to the city for a battle that one Syrian security source said was likely to last for weeks.





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