World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian rebels withdrew from parts of a strategic district of Aleppo on Thursday after fierce fighting with President Bashar al-Assad's forces, a rebel commander said.
"There have been some withdrawals of Free Syrian Army fighters from Salaheddine," Abu Ali said. Rebels had abandoned two streets which had been frontlines in the conflict, he said, but were regrouping for a counter-attack.
Buildings in the area have been flattened by bombardment and rebels are short of ammunition. Another fighter said at least 30 people had been killed in the fighting which has ebbed and flowed in Salaheddine for two days.
Assad names new PM
President Bashar al-Assad named a new prime minister on Thursday to replace Syria's most senior government defector and his forces pounded rebels in a strategic district of Aleppo.
Assad appointed Wael al-Halki, a Sunni Muslim from the southern province of Deraa where the Syrian uprising erupted 17 months ago, to head the government after Riyad Hijab fled on Monday after spending only two months in the job.
Hijab's dramatic escape across the border to Jordan dealt another blow to Assad's authority, already shaken by the assassination last month of four of his top security officials and rebel gains in Damascus, Aleppo and swathes of rural Syria.
But Assad, grimly shrugging off such setbacks, seems locked in a desperate contest with his mostly Sunni opponents seeking to end half a century of Baathist rule and topple a system now dominated by members of the president's minority Alawite sect.
Assad has focused his fierce army counter-offensive on Syria's two main cities, reasserting control over much of Damascus before taking the fight to the northern commercial hub.
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