Syria rebels out of Aleppo district, new envoy due
ALEPPO (AFP) - Rebels retreated from the key Aleppo district of Salaheddin under a deadly rain of shellfire on Thursday, as a veteran Algerian diplomat was set to be named the new international envoy to Syria.
"We have staged a tactical withdrawal from Salaheddin. The district is completely empty of rebel fighters. Regime forces are now advancing into Salaheddin," said Mr Hossam Abu Mohammed, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander, with the battle for Syria's commercial capital raging into a second day.
"The fighters are withdrawing to (nearby) Sukari district, where they are preparing a counter-attack," he added.
Mr Mohammed cited heavy shelling and the army's use of thermobaric bombs, which throw out a wall of fire to incinerate targets in enclosed spaces.