Food and cooking gas were in short supply and power cuts plunged homes into darkness as soldiers and rebels battled Tuesday to tip the scales in the fight for Aleppo, Syria's largest city and the current focus of its civil war.
Life for Aleppo's 3 million residents was becoming increasingly unbearable as a military siege entered its 11th day. While rebels seized two police stations, Syrian ground forces pummeled the opposition strongholds of Salaheddine and Seif al-Dawla in the city's southwest, activists said. Government helicopters also pounded those neighborhoods.
"The regime couldn't enter the neighborhoods so they were shelling from a distance with helicopters and artillery," said Mohammed Nabehan, who fled Aleppo for the Kilis refugee camp just across the Turkish border some 30 miles (50 kilometers) away.