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December 9, 2022

Syria’s Turkish border units ‘head for Aleppo’

Clinton: US increasing help for Syrian rebels. Turkey shuts border with Syria.

Thousands of Syrian soldiers are being moved from the border with Turkey to join fierce fighting in the city of Aleppo, activists have claimed, BBC informs. Rebels said their fighters had attacked columns of troops as they abandoned their posts in Jabal al-Zawiya area. Aleppo, the country’s second city, has seen fierce clashes all week, with the government deploying fighter jets and helicopters to beat back the rebels. Government forces have largely repelled a rebel assault on Damascus. Until recently, the two main cities had been relatively free of the violence that has wracked other parts of the country. But a sustained assault by rebels earlier this month on the capital saw a dramatic upsurge in violence there. Activists said fighting continued throughout the city overnight. On the other hand,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States is increasing its efforts to help Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, the Voice of America reports. Clinton gave no details, but she said Tuesday that the U.S. is giving such non-lethal aid as medical and communications support. She said Washington is working outside of the U.N. Security Council, where Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions that would have taken strong action against the Assad government.In another development, Turkey has sealed its border with Syria to trucks, cutting off a vital supply line as fighting stretched into its fifth day in the city of Aleppo, belfasttelegraph.com reports.Hayati Yazici, the Turkish Customs and Trade Minister, said the move came after rebels captured two border crossings between Syria and Turkey. Last week, dozens of Turkish trucks were either looted or burned when the rebels took the Bab al-Hawa crossing.A new commander for the 300-member UN observer force, Lt. Gen. Babacar Gaye has arrived in Damascus along with the UN official in charge of peacekeeping operations to hold a series of meetings to assess the prospects for a UN peace plan that is being widely ignored.

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