Syrian army corpses mark rebel attack on missile base

Body of a Syrian soldier, a gaping wound in his forehead, is sprawled in a pool of blood, while two other corpses lie nearby at a military site close to the key battleground city of Aleppo.

Rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad say they stormed the site, a missile base, in a coordinated assault early on Friday, destroying the missiles.

The first Syrian soldier, his feet clad only in socks, seems to have died fighting, with a number of empty shells lying near the corpse, behind a firing position made of metal barrels and sandbags near the entrance to the site.

The body of a second soldier, his face bloodied, lies behind another firing position, while another rests on his back in a field of dirt and stones.

No Syrian rebel forces can be seen at the site, which fighters further down the road say is due to the danger from regime air strikes and snipers.

A member of a group called Muhajireen told AFP in Aleppo it was one of three, along with Al-Nusra Front and Fajr al-Islam, which participated in the attack in which he said six missiles were destroyed.

“We took over the entire site and destroyed the missiles that were in it,” said the Muhajireen member, who gave his name as Assad Allah (Lion of God) but did not personally take part in the attack.

“We were not able to carry them, because they were big and we do not have a base to launch missiles,” he said.

He also said the fighters captured several heavy automatic weapons, a number of Kalashnikov assault rifles, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades.

On Friday, massive clouds of grey smoke rose from the site as a Syrian warplane slowly circled overhead.

The bodies of three young men lay in a road leading to the site, with a fourth off to the side, their hands behind their backs, at least one blindfolded, streams of blood running down the road.

Two wore military boots and another camouflage pants. They were apparently Syrian soldiers executed by the rebels. On Saturday, those corpses were gone.

Death also came to the Sad al-Loz area of Aleppo itself, where residents picked through the smashed remains of apartments and stores damaged or destroyed by an explosion said to have been caused by either an air strike or a missile.

The blast ripped balconies from buildings, smashed windows, tore down trees and left chunks of concrete, twisted metal and dust covering the street.

Mohammed Ibrahim, a man at the scene, said he saw dead people and body parts after the blast, which he said was caused by a missile.

“There were also many wounded who were taken to the hospital. There was one wounded in his hand, one in his head, one in his neck,” said another man, Abdu.

He said he was standing across a small square from the blast and was lightly wounded in the chest, and that he had heard the sound of an airplane before the explosion.

Nearby, another attack sheared the side off a building, exposing the rooms within.

A distraught woman clad in a black abaya robe who stood across the street said her home was destroyed. “There is no God … Our children are dead … We do not have men, they died,” she cried.

Source: AFP

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