National & World News

Jul 7, 7:27 AM EDT

Militants attack government-held neighborhood in north Syria

Indictment of Monzer al-Kassar
Latest Syria News
Militants attack government-held neighborhood in north Syria

Food aid to Syrian refugees cut in half amid funding crisis

Jobs program needed for Syrian refugees, UN official says

Syria puts into circulation new 1,000-pound note

Buy AP Photo Reprints

BEIRUT (AP) -- Intense clashes broke out Tuesday in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo after militants attacked a government-held neighborhood there, capturing several buildings, activists said.

The Local Coordination Committees and the Aleppo Media Center said the fighting was concentrated in the western Zahra neighborhood.

A former industrial and commercial hub, Aleppo has been carved up between government and rebel-held neighborhoods since July 2012. With Syria's largest city devastated by three years of fighting, many of its residents have long fled.

Opposition fighters and Islamic militants have launched a series of attacks in Aleppo since last week, capturing the city's Scientific Research Center that was used as a military base. Activists said Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen have been trying to retake the base with no luck so far.

The LCC and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on Zahra started on Monday night with a large explosion that killed government troops and pro-government gunmen.

The Observatory said it was a suicide attack carried out by a member of al-Qaida's branch in Syria, the Nusra Front. It said the blast killed 25 troops and pro-government gunmen. The Observatory also said that 19 militants have been killed since Monday night.

The fighting is part of a new coordinated offensive in Aleppo by a newly-formed coalition between the Nusra Front and other factions, including the ultra-conservative Ahrar al-Sham group. The coalition, which calls itself Ansar al-Sharia, has said it seeks to "liberate" Aleppo.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.