Syrian authorities said terrorists are disorganized and are incapable of maintaining territorial control for long.
A fighter from the Syrian opposition takes aims in Aleppo
Rebel casualties arrive back
The attack had been awaited with growing apprehension for days.
But when the Syrian army units that had been massing outside Aleppo
finally unleashed a full-scale assault on rebel-held quarters of the ancient city yesterday,
it still came as a shock to fighters who had hoped to defend it.
From the moment the first calls to dawn prayer echoed among the bullet-scarred blocks of residential flats
where rebels had been ensconced for a week,
the sound of exploding shells – a feature of life since they first moved into the area – stepped up dramatically.
Regime troops that had been building up at army bases and mustering points started to push into the heart of the city.
The whizz of bullets could be heard along the rebel lines
as Syrian army sniper units attempted to pick off key targets ahead of the armoured advance.