In Syria, Both Sides Now Have Heavy Weapons In Aleppo

Aug 2, 2012
Originally published on August 2, 2012 7:59 am

Anti-Bashar Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo now have at least a few tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and improved explosives.

And that has U.N. observers warning about the deadly consequences of heavy weapons being used by both sides within such a "confined urban area," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said earlier on Morning Edition. The fear, of course, is that even more non-combatants will be caught in the crossfire.

There's also evidence emerging — in videos — of anti-Assad fighters allegedly executing members of the shabiha militia that has been fighting for Assad. So now, as Anthony said, there's talk of atrocities being committed by both sides.

Meanwhile, CNN and other news outlets are reporting that sometime in the past several months, President Obama "signed a covert directive authorizing U.S. support for Syrian rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad's forces." The reports cite "U.S. officials" who have knowledge of the president's action.

Update at 11 a.m. ET. Annan Reportedly Quitting:

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan "says he is quitting as special envoy to Syria, effective Aug. 31," The Associated Press reports.

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