• A Timeline of Events in Aleppo

    ALEPPO, Syria, Oct 1, 2012 (AFP) – The main developments in Syria’s second city and commercial capital Aleppo, a crucial battleground, where rebels and loyalists fought close-quarter battles on Monday in the main covered market:

    - July 20: Heavy fighting erupts in Aleppo, which has so far been largely spared violence during the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that erupted on March 15, 2011.

    - July 23: Rebels say they have “liberated” multiple neighbourhoods, including Salaheddin in the south, on the road to Damascus.

    - July 28: The military launches a dawn assault, using helicopter gunships, artillery and tanks as well as ground troops. On July 29, rebels say they have held off the offensive.

    - July 30: Rebels seize a checkpoint northwest of Aleppo, securing free movement for their forces between the city and Turkey.

    - August 8: Backed by tanks, government troops launch a ground assault and enter Salaheddin.

    - August 9: Rebels admit they have made “a tactical withdrawal” from Salaheddin.

    - August 15: An air strike on a rebel bastion in the town of Aazaz kills more than 40 people.

    - August 21: Rebels claim to control almost two thirds of Aleppo, a claim denied by a security source.

    - August 23: The army recaptures three Christian neighbourhoods in the Old City of Aleppo: Jdeide, Telal and Sulamaniyeh.

    - September 3: Syrian warplanes pound Aleppo and the neighbouring city of Al-Bab.

    - September 21: Syrian troops backed by helicopter gunships clash with rebels near a barracks in Aleppo as battles break out around Managh military airport in the northern province.

    - September 28: Rebels unleash an unprecedented barrage of mortar fire against troops in Aleppo.

    - September 29: Troops shell rebel positions after a night of fierce fighting for control of Aleppo, where a fire tears through a historic souk.

    - Monday, October 1: Rebels and loyalists fight close-quarter battles in the main souk. Clashes also take place in the eastern district of Sakhur and Salaheddin, while the building housing the governor comes under mortar fire, according to a non-governmental organisation.

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