Dubai: Opposition fighters advanced on several fronts in their campaign to seize Aleppo as a mortar bomb fired from Syria hit southeastern Turkey on Friday. It damaged homes and workplaces in the Akcakale border area, the private Dogan news agency said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said they had no immediate information.
Syrian writer Ebrahim Al Kharit and his son Sumar were killed by government troops in the eastern city of Deir Al Zor, opposition activists and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
They “were shot dead on Thursday night by regime forces who raided the neighbourhood of Qasur,” Observatory director Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP. Al Kharit was a member of the Arab Writers’ Association, and published books including The Convoy and the Desert and The Assassination, it said.
The rebels unleashed an unprecedented barrage of mortar fire against troops in Aleppo after announcing on Thursday a “decisive” battle for Syria’s second city.
The battles that began on Thursday evening raged right through yesterday. “We heard soldiers on their radio calling their chiefs to ask for reinforcements. They were crying and saying ‘we are all going to die,’” one of the rebels said.
Rebel commanders said the fighters were able to advance in the southwestern districts of Sukari and Ezaa but had to retreat from Salah Al Deen because they were outgunned.
Violence also raged in Dam-ascus where troops attacked several rebel areas in the north and the south of the capital. At least 60 people - 30 civilians, 17 soldiers and 13 rebels - were killed nationwide on Friday.