Syrian government forces are reported to be in preparation of a massacre civilians in the city of Aleppo. Opposition activists say they expect the government to soon launch a major offensive on rebel-held areas across the northern city.
Both Syrian soldiers reinforced on Wednesday and Thursday with a “large number” of government troops moved from the northwestern province of Idlib to Aleppo .
Rebel forces were also bracing on Friday for a decisive “mother of all” battles in Aleppo.On Friday the Rebels brought in reinforcements, with the source estimating that between 1 500 and 2 000 opposition fighters had arrived from outside Syria’s most populous city to reinforce about 2 000 already fighting inside Aleppo.
On 20 July the rebels launched an all-out assault to overrun Aleppo, a move analysts say is aimed at establishing a bastion close to the rebel military headquarters in neighbouring Turkey.
The newspaper Al-Watan, which is close to the regime, led on Thursday with the headline “Aleppo, the mother of all battles”, adding that “the army continues to chase terrorists in the outskirts of Damascus and the province”.
Citing an Arab diplomatic source, it added: “Aleppo will be the last battle waged by the Syrian army to crush the terrorists and after that Syria will emerge from the crisis.”
A European Commission aid expert said on Thursday the humanitarian situation in Syria had taken a dramatic turn for the worse.
Tens of thousands of people have fled Syria to escape the violence which the Observatory says has killed more than 19 000 people since mid-March 2011.