chapter  2
16 Pages

The Battle for Aleppo

WithJonathan Spyer

In the summer of 2012, the Assad regime began the large-scale bombing of populated areas in the parts of Syria it had abandoned. It was a crude, immensely cruel tactic. Whole villages and neighborhoods were destroyed and a large-scale exodus of refugees began. The Syria war continued, and the armed rebellion appeared to be gaining ground. On July 19th, rebel forces opened fire on government soldiers in the Salahedine neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city and the "capital" of the country's north. The battle for Aleppo had begun. For journalists, the Aleppo battle and the regime redeployment from the border in July 2012 offered an opportunity. The rebellion was in control of a number of border crossings, including Bab al-Salameh, due north of Aleppo. The rebels also controlled the road leading from the border and the town of Azaz down into the eastern part of Aleppo city.