Rebels target regime base in former Aleppo hospital
December 8, 2013
BATTLEGROUND ALEPPO: The Islamic Front’s Ahrar a-Sham and Liwa a-Tawheed battalions, alongside Jabhat a-Nusra and the independent Islamic brigade Fajr a-Sham continued an assault on the government’s improvised base at the al-Kendi hospital in Aleppo Saturday. Rebel groups have had the regime outpost near the adjacent Aleppo Central Prison in their sites since Wednesday.
“The hospital’s importance lies in its position on a high hill, making it the regime’s strongest point,” said Laith, an activist in Aleppo. “If the rebels successfully capture the hospital, it will open the road to al-Bab city,” he added, noting the government had militarized the hospital for 18 months.
“Terrorist armed groups tried to attack Kendi Hospital, resulting in all the terrorists being killed,” pro-government newspaper al-Watan reported Sunday.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent was able to deliver food and medicines into the Aleppo Central Prison, where poor conditions have drawn critical reports from international human rights groups. On Saturday, more than 7 prisoners died as a result of the cold and starvation in the prison while other prisoners were injured when regime forces fired upon them in the complex’s political wing, Aleppo News reported. Regime forces are burying prisoner’s bodies in the prison yard, the pro-opposition news source added.
On Sunday, rebel battalions bombed the regime forces’ barracks at the Zeino intersection in Aleppo’s Saif al-Douleh neighborhood. Fierce clashes also occurred Saturday between regime and Hezbollah forces against Jabhat a-Nusra, Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham and other Islamic battalions at the Shiekh Yusuf Hill, which overlooks the transportation administration building in Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported losses on both sides.