Amateur video shows intensified fighting around the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Amateur video obtained from a social media website, shows intensified fighting around the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday (March 11), as rebel fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad ramped up their efforts against each other. Reuters cannot independently verify the footage. The first video claims to show fighters of the so-called First Regiment rebel group targeting what they claimed was a political intelligence building, as well as other regime sites, in Bab-al Hadid - one of the nine historical gates of the ancient city of Aleppo. The Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's Syria branch, targeted regime buildings in Handarat town in northern Aleppo, a second video uploaded to social media purports to show. The future of Nursa is in question after its military chief, Abu Humam al-Shami, was killed in an apparent army air strike on March 5. A further video allegedly shows regime helicopters dropping barrel bombs in the civilian neighbourhood of al-Sakhour. Another video claims to show rebel fighters targeting what were said to be regime sites at the al-Brij front in northern Aleppo. Turkey has closed two border crossings with Syria as a security precaution as fighting around Aleppo worsens, Turkish customs and government officials said on Wednesday. Humanitarian aid will not be affected, a government official said. Syrians with passports are still allowed to cross into Syria. Aleppo, around 50 km (30 miles) south of the border with Turkey, is divided between government forces and insurgent groups fighting to topple Assad in a conflict estimated to have killed 200,000 people. The conflict is now entering its fourth year since popular protests against the Assad regime broke out and descended into civil war.