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Syria army launches Aleppo counter-offensive: rights group BEIRUT: The Syrian army launched a threatened counter-offensive against rebel fighters in Aleppo on Saturday, pouring troops into the southwest of the commercial hub, a human rights group said. The reinforcements, which have been massing over the past two days, "have moved on the Salaheddin district, where the largest number of rebel fighters are based," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. "The fiercest clashes of the uprising are taking place in several neighbourhoods of the city," the head of the Britain-based watchdog, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP. "You can say that the fightback has begun." Activist group the General Comittee of the Syrian Revolution said that troops were raking Salaheddin with heavy machinegun fire as they advanced on the neighbourhood, which has been a stronghold of rebel fighters since they seized large parts of Syria's second city on July 20. Columns of troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships have poured into Aleppo prompting ...

Syria rebels capture 50 troops in Idlib: NGO  BEIRUT: Syrian rebels on Friday captured 50 troops, including 14 officers, in the town of Maaret al-Numan in the northwestern province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. "After clashes that lasted 12 hours, rebels destroyed a military security post and captured 50 regime troops, including 14 officers," Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Observatory, told AFP by phone. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...
Syria BEIRUT: Syria's Kurds, hostile to a regime that has oppressed them and suspicious of the opposition, are putting aside differences to unite and manage their own region in the face of an uncertain future. They have engaged carefully with the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, but have also kept the rebel Free Syrian Army out of their regions, for fear of attracting the violence that has engulfed much of the country. In recent days, the Syrian ...
France says Assad preparing PARIS: France on Friday said it feared Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is preparing to carry out a "slaughter" of his own people in the second city of Aleppo. "With the build-up of heavy weapons around Aleppo, Assad is preparing to carry out a fresh slaughter of his own people," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told AFP, echoing similar concerns expressed by US officials. The US State Department on Thursday warned that Assad may be preparing to carry ...
Syria rebels ready for ALEPPO: Rebel forces were bracing on Friday for a decisive "mother of all" battles in Aleppo, as Washington warned the Syrian army could be preparing to carry out a massacre in the country's second city. The Syrian army has been sending waves of reinforcements towards the northern city, and a security source told AFP the offensive feared by the rebels could come as early as Friday. "The special forces were deployed on Wednesday and Thursday on the ...
Syria humanitarian crisis worsening, more funds needed: EU  BRUSSELS: The humanitarian situation in Syria has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in recent days, placing fresh strain on operations that are already severely under-funded, EU officials said Thursday. With an escalation in fighting that has prompted increasing numbers of Syrians to flee, "the humanitarian situation has changed significantly in the last four or five days," said an aid expert from the European Commission. "It's like running behind a train that constantly keeps accelerating," he ...
Russia accuses US of MOSCOW: Russia on Wednesday lashed out at the United States for backing the armed opposition to the Syrian regime, saying Washington's failure to condemn the July 18 blast that killed top security officials meant it was justifying terror. "This is quite an awful position, I cannot even find the words to make clear how we feel," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters. "This is directly justifying terrorism. How can this be understood?" Lavrov expressed bewilderment at ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln