The Syrian civil war continued to center on the country’s biggest city of Aleppo on Sunday, with at least 20,000 pro-government troops massing for a struggle over a key battleground in the 17-month uprising, reports said.
Fighting also raged in and around the capital of Damascus, while Iranian state television reported that gunmen in Syria hijacked a bus with 48 Iranians from a suburb of the city as they were visiting a shrine holy to Shiite Moslems, according to reports.
Iran’s English-language state station, Press TV, said “terrorists” staged the kidnapping, describing the abductors in similar terms as the Syrian regime.
Iran, which is mainly Shiite, has been an ally to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is dominated by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
The kidnapping on Saturday marked the largest single abduction of Iranians in Syria, according to reports.
Reports on al-Arabiya television said rebels accused some of the kidnapped Iranians of being members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, according to the BBC
Reuters reported tank fire in the streets of Aleppo’s Salaheddine district, which is an entry point the city of 2.5 million people.
The BBC reported that Syrian troops in Aleppo exceeded 20,000.
PressTV confirms that Syria is beginning large Operations at Aleppo and especially at Idleb with 20 thousand new reserves
Syria getting Reports that Assad is now only using Iranian pilots and helecopter crews to bomb Aleppo Syrian pilots held at Gunpoint RT
FSA has apparently managed to kill a Russian advisor for Assad’s defence ministry