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WORLD
September 28, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Some of the fiercest clashes in weeks in the Syrian city of Aleppo were reported Friday as rebels said they were pressing a "decisive" battle for the besieged northern metropolis. As night fell, it was unclear whether either side had made any substantial advances in the city, which has been divided between government and opposition forces for more than two months. The battle had evolved into a brutal war of attrition until Friday's surge in urban combat. There was no overall casualty count from Friday's clashes in Aleppo, Syria's most populous city and its commercial hub. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the city and the once-vibrant economy has ground to a halt since fighting broke out in July.
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NEWS
April 12, 2014 | By Kari Howard
One of the qualities I value most in the writers of the Great Reads are their powers of observation. I'm a big believer in showing, not telling -- in giving those little scenes and details that make readers connect to people whose lives might seem impossibly remote from theirs. The writer of Friday's powerful Great Read, Raja Abdulrahim, is particularly gifted: She finds those moments when she's directly in the line of fire in Syria. In Friday's story, Raja, who has made her way into rebel-held territory many times during the three-year conflict, wrote from Aleppo, where life alternates between terror and a grotesque version of normalcy.
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WORLD
February 26, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim
ANTAKYA, Turkey - Clashes between troops and rebels flared up Tuesday in the heart of Aleppo's old city in northern Syria. The rebels seized the centuries-old Umayyad Mosque, which for months has been used as a military encampment and checkpoint by regime forces, after a day of fighting, Aleppo activists said. The mosque sits near the medieval citadel, the city's signature landmark and a strategic site high above the surrounding neighborhood, which remains in the hands of the military.
WORLD
March 6, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
Syrian rebels in the northern city of Aleppo are waging fierce clashes against government forces in an attempt to prevent opposition neighborhoods from falling under siege. Government forces have gradually been retaking ground in and around Aleppo for months and now appear poised to cut off rebel-held parts of the city if rebels are not successful in stopping their advance. “No one knows what to expect, anything can happen,” said Omar Nasir, a fighter with the Ansar Al-Haq group in Aleppo. “The regime is using all its strength here.” The opposition is said to control more than half of Aleppo but is surrounded by the government to the east, south and west, leaving about 12 miles of border open to the north.
WORLD
January 29, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
BEIRUT -- The bodies of dozens of young men, apparently victims of summary execution, were found along a small river in the war-ravaged northern Syria city of Aleppo, opposition activists said Tuesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based pro-opposition group, said it had managed to document the names of at least 17 of the 65 men whose corpses were pulled from along the waterway in the city's Bustan al-Qasr district. Amateur video purported to be from the scene showed mud-caked bodies and streaks of blood along the riverbank.
WORLD
July 29, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Alexandra Sandels, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Fierce clashes and hours of bombardment were reported Saturday in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, where rebels and government forces have been bracing for a critical battle in the nation's commercial hub. It wasn't clear whether Saturday's fighting signaled the start of a major government offensive to retake the city, a confrontation that could prove a decisive moment in the 17-month rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad....
WORLD
August 4, 2012 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
ALEPPO, Syria - In a two-room apartment where the paint is peeling off the walls, a woman talked about the bombardment of her neighborhood as her granddaughters, ages 3 and 4, sat nearby clutching teddy bears. "They tell me, 'Grandma, tell them not to hit us, not to injure us, not to kill us,'" said the woman, who like others in this article didn't want to give her first name. "We're just civilians. What's our crime? We're not with this side or this side. " Two weeks into a fierce Syrian government offensive in Aleppo, few residents remain in the Salahuddin neighborhood, where some estimate more than 100,000 used to live in addition to hundreds of displaced families fleeing the shattered city of Homs who found cheap housing here.
WORLD
February 12, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - Syrian opposition forces said Tuesday that they had captured a strategic military air base near the embattled northern city of Aleppo, the latest air facility reportedly overrun by insurgents. The reported capture of the Jarrah air base, about 40 miles east of Aleppo, came after a 17-day siege during which forces loyal to President Bashar Assad were cut off from supplies, said a representative  - reached by Skype  - of the Liwa al Islam group, one of the rebel units reported to have taken the airfield.
WORLD
August 13, 2012 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
ALEPPO, Syria - In million-dollar apartments in a neighborhood of the city as yet unscathed, the battle for Aleppo plays out daily on flat-screen TVs. Amid imported sofas and abstract art, the revolution doesn't seem so close. But as the call for night prayers rang out from the minaret of the nearby mosque on a recent day, two loud explosions boomed. "Do you hear that?" a father of seven asked, briefly looking away from the TV. "It's like this every night. " From the balcony, which on this night let in a little cool summer breeze, his family can occasionally see smoke rising above other Aleppo neighborhoods that are under attack by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
August 23, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Syrian forces on Thursday renewed attacks against rebel strongholds in the nation's two largest cities, highlighting the determination of President Bashar Assad's government to crush resistance in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo. For a second consecutive day, opposition activists said, the military used mortars and airstrikes in Daraya, a suburb south of Damascus, the capital. "They are shelling it at an insane pace," said Moaz Shami, a Damascus-based activist.
WORLD
March 5, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim and Richard Winton
In an expletive-laced online video, two men say they are Los Angeles gang members who are “gangbanging” in Syria and fighting the “enemigos” in the bloody three-year conflict. The men identify themselves as “Wino” from the Westside Armenian Power gang and “Creeper” from the Sun Valley GW-13 gang, which has links to the Mexican mafia. Dressed in camouflage and ammunition vests and holding Kalashnikov rifles in an unknown location, the pair appear more interested in theatrics than ideology.
WORLD
February 13, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
When Omar Naasir wants a restful night's sleep in Aleppo, he says, he stays as close as possible to the front line of the ongoing clashes between Syrian rebel and government forces. Farther back in his rebel-controlled neighborhood, Naasir says, the risk of death greatly increases because of the barrel bombs and other explosives raining down daily amid the government's bombardment campaign. "Between us and the regime army is sometimes less than 100 meters, so they don't drop barrel bombs there so they don't strike their positions," he said via Skype, referring to the deadly oil drums filled with TNT. "With barrel bombs, there is a feeling of paralysis that is indescribable," said the former peace activist turned rebel.
WORLD
January 9, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT -- A car bomb detonated Thursday near a school in the the central Syrian province of Hama, killing as many as 18 people, according to the Syrian government and opposition sources. The bomb exploded outside the town of Salmiyah, killing mostly women and children, the reports said. The Syrian state news agency SANA said the attack left dozens wounded and had caused “very significant” property damage. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based pro-opposition watchdog group, said the casualty toll was likely to increase.
WORLD
January 8, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT -- Rebels in Syria seized the headquarters of an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in the city of Aleppo on Wednesday, one day after attempts were made to broker a cease-fire among opposition groups in the northern part of the country. Activists reported the withdrawal of the powerful faction known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from the children's hospital in the Qadi Askar neighborhood of Aleppo before it was taken over by the group's rival and onetime battlefield ally, the Islamic Front, a Saudi-backed government opposition group that has emerged as the dominant Islamist coalition in Syria.
WORLD
January 7, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT -- An extremist rebel faction operating in Syria is reported to have killed an unknown number of prisoners it abducted near the contested city of Aleppo as its forces came under fire from rival opposition groups, activists said. Many of the victims of the execution-style killings by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the most extreme of the Islamist groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad , were activists and journalists, the reports said.
WORLD
January 3, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos and Raja Abdulrahim
AMMAN, Jordan -- Clashes erupted Friday between groups nominally united in their opposition to the Syrian government, with rebel fighters in the north attacking an Al Qaeda-linked group that has increasingly fought against them. The combat comes as the opposition movements seeking to oust President Bashar Assad find themselves increasingly fractured. The fighting began early Friday when the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, tried to seize Atarib, a town near Aleppo held by other rebels, in order to capture the former base of the government's 46th Regiment and the courthouse, the rebels and activists said.
WORLD
August 1, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Alexandra Sandels
BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday exhorted his military to maintain "continued preparedness," as human rights groups condemned an apparent rebel execution of Assad loyalists in the embattled northern city of Aleppo. Assad lauded his troops' role in "confronting the criminal terrorist gangs," a reference to the rebels fighting across a wide swath of the country, in a statement marking the anniversary of the founding of the army, state media reported. Meanwhile, video surfaced online appearing to show the execution of members of a loyalist clan in an Aleppo neighborhood.
WORLD
September 19, 2012 | By the Los Angeles Times
ALEPPO, Syria - The elderly woman, covered in a long black gown and matching headdress, was despondent. Tears of anguish flooded her eyes. She stood at the entrance to the cobblestone streets of the Old City, pleading with the rebel fighter. "Why can't you get the bakeries running?" she implored, saying she had spent four hours seeking fresh bread for her family. "We are not accustomed to living like this. " At the receiving end of her exhortations was a strapping 27-year-old country boy with a white T-shirt, sandals and a rifle who called himself Abu Mohammed.
WORLD
January 1, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim and Nabih Bulos
AMMAN, Jordan -- At least 20 people were killed in Aleppo on Wednesday when a residential building was hit with a rocket from a warplane as the government's daily bombardment of the northern Syria city continued, activists said. More than 500 people have been killed across Aleppo province in two weeks of a fierce government offensive with rockets and destructive barrel bombs, local doctors and human rights groups reported. World leaders have called for an end to the attacks, which have put into question the upcoming Geneva II peace conference.
WORLD
December 23, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim
Syrian government airstrikes pounded the country's northern province of Aleppo for a ninth straight day Monday, killing more than 50 people as residents braced for more bombings, activists said. The sustained air offensive has left 300 to 500 people dead and thousands injured, according to human rights groups and activists. "We are trying to prevent people from gathering. People are walking under the balconies so they are not visible from the sky," said Khalid Omar, a pharmacist in the city of Aleppo.
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