Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, August 9, 2012

War of Words and Arms Amid Assault in Syrian City

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian rebels in embattled Aleppo tried to maintain morale on Thursday by highlighting small gains in the midst of a withdrawal from the most contested area of the city, as government forces fired on their positions with jets, helicopters, artillery and tanks.

On the second day of a ground offensive that could signal a decisive turn in the battle for Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, rebels said they continued to fight in new neighborhoods and with new tactics, as the authorities bragged of heavy losses for foes of President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr. Assad, after appearing this week on television for the first time since a bomb killed four members of his inner circle last month, also sought to project an appearance of political control and strength by appointing a new prime minister, Wael Nader al-Halqi, to replace Riyad Farid Hijab, who defected to Jordan this week. SANA, the state news agency, reported the appointment in a brief announcement that did not refer to the defection. Read More