Tue, Jun 18, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Putin warns of flesh-eating rebels as Syrian war rages

PARALLEL LINE:The Russian president said the US and EU’s move to arm rebels who committed atrocities contradicted the ‘values preached in Europe for hundreds of years’

Reuters, AMMAN and LONDON

Rebels say they are fighting back against the regimes offensives in the north. An opposition operations room in Aleppo said fighters had destroyed an army tank and killed 20 troops at Marat al-Arteek, a town where opposition sources say rebels are holding back an armored column sent to reinforce loyalists from Shiite villages.

“[Al-]Assad’s forces and Hezbollah are trying to control northern rural Aleppo, but they are being repelled and dealt heavy losses,” Colonel Abdeljabbar al-Okeidi, a Free Syrian Army commander in Aleppo, told al-Arabiya Television.

He said Hezbollah had sent up to 2,000 fighters to Aleppo and the surrounding areas, but was confident the opposition would prevail.

“Aleppo and [al-]Qusair are different. In Qusayr we were surrounded by villages that had been occupied by Hezbollah and by loyalist areas ... In Aleppo, we have a strategic depth and logistical support and we are better organized,” he said. “Aleppo will turn into the grave of these Hezbollah devils.”

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