BEIRUT

Middle East

Syrian regime: Aleppo airport still in army hands

An airplane is seen parked at Aleppo international airport on February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Malek Al Shemali

BEIRUT: The Syrian regime says the airport in the battleground northern city of Aleppo is still under military control and "safe" from rebels fighting to capture it.

The pro-government Al-Watan daily - considered a mouthpiece for President Bashar Assad's regime - said Wednesday the military is "valiantly defending" the airport and will do so at all cost.

The paper says the airport is under "intensive attacks by gunmen" - a rare acknowledgement of the ferocious fighting around Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

Assad's troops have been locked in a stalemate with the rebels since July, when Aleppo became a major battlefield in the nearly two-year conflict.

The rebels have been trying to capture the airport for weeks. They have recently taken control of most of two military bases protecting the facility.

 

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