February 25, 2013
by Abbas Deiri
Fighting over a police academy in an Aleppo suburb intensified on Monday, with Syrian rebels capturing a building close to the school and reportedly summarily executing the leader of the Popular Committee militia in Khan al-Asl.
The rebels commandeered the building where members of Syrian forces were barricaded in. One rebel and 10 Syrian soldiers were killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least 16 rebel fighters, including a commander, and 30 soldiers from the Syrian forces have been killed in the past 24 hours, according to the Observatory.
Syria's officials news agency, SANA, reported on a beautification campaign taking place in Syria's second-largest city, adding that "other [army] units continue to purse terrorists elsewhere in the city."
Elsewhere in Aleppo province, the Syrian army has reportedly sent in reinforcements near the town of al-Safirah, where fighting has been ongoing for nearly one month. A total of 23 tanks and more than 3,000 soldiers have arrived, said Mohammed Nour, 23, a correspondent based in Aleppo for the Sham News Network.
Al-Safirah is important for the government “because it contains one of their chemical reserves and it is the site where they most of their weapons and ammunition,” Nour said. “It also has a research center to develop weapons,” he told SAS News.
The army has not entered the town directly because the Free Syrian Army controls it, Nour said. However, the area outside where the army factories are the site of fighting, he added.