Syrian 'jihadists' seize army base near Aleppo

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Syrian 'jihadists' seize army base near Aleppo

Syrian 'jihadists' seize army base near Aleppo
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The black flag flying from a Syrian tank gives a clue as to the identity of the rebels who have apparently seized the military vehicle from government forces.

They are believed to be among jihadist groups, not the Free Syrian Army, who have overrun a large army base at Sheikh Suleiman, 25 kilometres west of Aleppo. The pictures cannot be verified.

Fighting has continued elsewhere in the country.

Another film uploaded onto the internet is said to show clashes in the eastern city of Deir al Zor. Smoke is seen billowing from buildings, and a voice describes clashes between rebels and the Syrian military.

The outskirts of Damascus also reportedly came under heavy bombardment as government forces tried to crush rebel bases.

On a third film there is an apparent glimpse of daily life in Aleppo – in the grip of power and food shortages.

A long queue of people forms along a street full of shuttered shops. Many of the people appear to be in good humour despite obvious hardship.

A group of children laugh and gesticulate at the camera filming them, in a scene that could be far away from the war-ravaged northern city.

The video has also been obtained through social media but is described as “most likely credible” after a verification process by a specialist agency.

Once the backbone of Syrian commerce and industry, the city’s economy has all but collapsed as the fighting continues.