After weeks of intense fighting, some of it hand-to-hand combat, the FSA has begun to withdraw from some districts in Aleppo. Bombed and strafed by jets and helicopter gunships, shelled by heavy artillery, tanks and mortars, many districts were reduced to rubble. Some 20,000 Syrian army troops are involved in a counter offensive to take back the city from the FSA. Bashar Assad pinned all of his hopes of staying in power on defeating the rebels in Syria's most populous and oldest city. They failed at destroying the FSA and it lives to fight another day. The FSA continues to hold many sections of Aleppo. Food supplies are running low, medicine and ammunition are running out, and there is no cooking fuel. The situation is much like what happened in Homs and Hama, but much more intense. Like those cities, parks have become cemeteries, as have peoples gardens. As of this writing, it is reported that jet fighters are screaming across the skies over Aleppo bombing multiple districts, while artillery pummels the same targets.
The fighting did create an exodus of more than 250,000 residents from the city. Those that stayed behind risked being killed by the intense, indiscriminate bombardment. Now they risk being killed by the Syrian army as it advances into many districts that were held by the FSA. Ben Wederman, of CNN, who braved reporting from the embattled city for the last few days, summed it up by saying why his news crew was leaving. "Most residents will be shown no mercy by the Syrian army, it is safe to say an international news crew could expect to be treated no better."He was referring to residents in neighborhoods that were held by the FSA. Wederman did say "he hopes to come back"[to Aleppo] and gave the thumbs up sign as he evacuated. Earlier this week, the 20 or so UN observers stationed in this city withdrew.
US: "All options remain on the table."
That according to John Brennan, chief anti terrorist adviser to President Obama. He was referring to the possibility of a "no fly zone" being looked at. "The president has us looking at all the options, all the time", he said.
"Axis of Resistance" meeting.
The government of Iran hosted a meeting attended by some 20 countries regarding the situation in Syria. Just a few of the countries in attendance were China, Russia, Zimbabwe, and Iraq. Many of the countries in attendance are staunch supporters of the Assad regime, either through direct material support, cash, ammunition, man power etc. They released a statement regarding "national sovereignty" and the need to find a "political solution" to the crisis. Syria had asked Russia for a cash loan, and diesel fuel on Sunday. Much of the regimes 17 billion in cash reserves are gone.
Refugees are continue to stream across the borders of neighboring countries. Both Jordan and Turkey have opened new camps to accommodate the growing numbers. The camp in Jordan is in the middle of the dessert and it's residents are not free to come and go. Both countries are leery of Assad Mukhabarat infiltrating the camps. There are more than 1.5 million displaced civilians in Syria, well over 100,000 have fled Syria all together. More than 20,000 have been killed since the popular uprising began more than 18 months ago.