Syrian rebels are stockpiling food, arms and medical supplies as government forces mobilise on the outskirts of Aleppo.
The city is bracing itself for a major battle betwen the free Syrian army and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Regime aircraft launched raids on the country’s second city throughout Thursday as tanks and troops prepared for an onslaught.
Rebels claim skirmishes are talking place all around the city of Aleppo:
“We attacked them here just close to the mosque and the military police compound. There were about 300 troops. They had some tanks like that one,” said one activist.
Aleppo is Syria’s commercial hub and key to controlling the north of the country.
The US frustrated by the international response fears a bloodbath. Victoria Nuland from the US State Department said:
“This is the concern: that we will see a massacre in Aleppo and that’s what the regime appears to be lining up for. In the absence of being able to work in the U.N. we have to re-double our efforts with like-minded nations outside of the U.N. system.”
As the military hardware heads for Aleppo, thousands of refugees continue to flee the violence seeking solace in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.