In the continuing battles between rebels and soldiers in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a fire broke out in the historic market. According to the rebels, in the bazaar of Suk al-Madina 700 to 1000 shops were destroyed by the flames.
The market is located in the city’s center. It was known as a tourist attraction market with many small shops. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Saturday that in the fighting in Aleppo, Damascus and other places at least 45 people were killed.
The regime’s militias and soldiers clashed with rebels from the early hours of Saturday morning, when the rebels attacked a government military base in the west section of Salaheddin. The rebels announced the launch of a major offensive on Thursday to finally take control of Aleppo.
In the capital Damascus, meanwhile, the army began an offensive in the eastern region of Ghuta. “The army wants to revenge and above all the civilians are paying the price,” said Ismail Matar a journalist who lives in Damascus. According to rebel sources, Assad’s troops executed many people. Ghuta and the close regions are a stronghold of the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Bombing and clashes were reported in Deraa, Homs and Hama in the center and in Idlib in northwest of Syria. In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, four people were killed in air strike. In the long-running conflict in Syria, more than 30,000 people were killed.
On the diplomatic front, the UN veto powers, the U.S. and Russia, continued arguing about the proper handling of the conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West on the Friday while speaking to the UN General Assembly in New York of block a solution. His country had been unsuccessfully proposed a resolution for a political transition in Syria, which is based on the Geneva peace plan. “Those who oppose the implementation of the Geneva document shoulder a great responsibility,” added Lavrov.
On her part, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced at a meeting of the Contact Group on Syria on Friday in New York, that Washington will step up its humanitarian aid for Syria’s rebels by US$30 million to an overll of US$130 million.