Syrian troops, rebels clash on Jordan border
Ex-Syrian parliament member killed in rebel-held area near Aleppo, one day after rebels captured strategic Sheik Said neighborhood southeast of the city.
Syrian government troops and rebels were Sunday clashing along the border with Jordan, in what opposition fighters called a "decisive battle" over the main crossing point between the two countries.
"Today we will not turn back until we have finally liberated the Nasib crossing," said Abu Hani Al Daraqi, a coordinator of the rebel Free Syrian Army, which was allegedly involved in the battle.
Residents of the Jordanian border city of Jaber reported large explosions and sightings of Syrian jets, as the fighting raged.
Meanwhile, a former Syrian parliament member and three members of his family were killed Sunday in a rebel-held area near the northern city of Aleppo, the state news agency SANA reported.
It said "terrorists," the term the Syrian government uses for rebels, fired at Ibrahim Azzouz's car in Sheik Said neighborhood near the city's airport, killing him along with his wife and their two daughters.
Rebels captured the strategic Sheik Said neighborhood southeast of Aleppo on Saturday. It was a significant blow to regime forces because the area includes the road the army has used to supply troops.
Troops loyal to Assad and rebels have been locked in a deadly stalemate in Aleppo, Syria's largest urban center and main commercial hub, since an opposition assault last summer. Seven months later, the rebels hold large parts of the city and its outskirts, including several army bases, but they have been unable to overcome the regime's far superior firepower.
More than 60,000 people have been killed since the uprising against Assad's rule erupted in March 2011.
The Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which opposes the regime, said government troops bombarded a building in in Aleppo's rebel-held neighborhood of Eastern Ansari and killed at least 11 people, including five children.
The Aleppo Media Center, a network of anti-regime activists in the city, said 15 people were killed in the shelling of Eastern Ansari. An amateur video released by the group showed a building reduced to a pile of debris with dozens of people digging through the rubble in search for survivors.
"The family of the man over there is still under the rubble," a man could be heard saying, referring to a man standing in the area.
The video appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting on the events depicted.