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Syrian army pounds Aleppo as remaining residents face shortages

Reuters reports — Syrian helicopter gunships and artillery pounded two key areas of Aleppo on Tuesday, extending the army's campaign to control the country's biggest city, but rebel fighters said troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had been forced to retreat. 

Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

A woman carries her child while walking through the rubble in Attarib, on the outskirts of Aleppo, on July 30, 2012.

UN: 200,000 civilians flee fierce fighting in Syria commercial hub

While rebels say they will turn Aleppo into the "grave" of the Assad government, thousands of residents have fled the city and those who remain face shortages of food and fuel and the ever-present risk of injury or death.

For days the Syrian troops' weapons have given them the upper hand during key battles in Aleppo, but the rebels – now armed with powerful shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles -- are preparing for a different kind of fight. NBC's Richard Engel reports.

Aleppo residents have mixed reactions to Syria rebels

"We have hardly any power or water, our wives and kids have left us here to watch the house and have gone somewhere safer. said Jumaa, a 45-year-old construction worker, who complained it was nearly impossible to observe the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, now in progress. Read the full story.

More images of the Syrian conflict on PhotoBlog

Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

Free Syrian Army members patrol Attarib, on the outskirts of Aleppo, on July 30, 2012.

EPA

A rebel at rest in a primary school near Aleppo on July 30, 2012.

EPA

Rebels arrest two people who they claimed were traitors, near Aleppo on July 30, 2012.

After months of protests and violent crackdowns, a look back at the violence that has overtaken the country.

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