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Rebels unite in Aleppo as clashes expand

Sept. 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM   |   Comments

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ALEPPO, Syria, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo had expanded to "several fronts" Friday, the director of a human rights group said.

Reports on death tolls were sketchy. Thirty-four people had been reported killed in various cities, but just one in Aleppo

Those reports came as Arab states condemned what they called widespread human rights violations by the Syrian government, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.

Hundreds of rebel fighters pledged to fight under a unified command, said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The clashes used to be limited to one or two blocks of a district, but now the fighting is on several fronts," he said.

A video of the fighters pledging their unity was posted on YouTube..

Battles raged throughout the city.

In the district of Bushtan al-Pasta, Syrian forces said they had killed dozens of "terrorists."

In the northern district of Sheik Maksoud, rebels clashed with pro-government Kurdish fighters.

Fighting was also reported in the Suilmaniyeh distinct.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said 19 of the people killed Friday were in in Dier Ezzor. Seven people were killed in Daraa, five in Idlib, two in Damascus and one in Aleppo.

The fighting came a day after the bloodiest day of Syria's 18-month revolt, with at least 343 people killed Thursday, an opposition watchdog group said.

Six-thousand fighters of the Tawhid Brigade, supported by other armed groups, fought regime forces in Syria's largest city, Bashir al-Haji, the brigade commander, said.

On Friday, a resolution drafted by Arab states that condemned widespread violations by Syrian government forces received backing from the U.N. Human Rights Council. The proposal would extend investigations into Syrian war crimes for another six months.

Reports that the Bashar Assad regime had sent "game-over" text messages were confirmed by al-Jazeera.

The messages said in part: "Dear anyone that has taken up arms against the state and has made money. You have two choices -- either be killed facing the state or the state will kill you to get rid of you, you decide."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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