23 October 2012
A rebel fighter fires his weapon, while a comrade reloads, on the rooftop of a house in the Bab al-Hadid district of Aleppo.
The Syrian commercial hub of Aleppo was the scene of some of the bloodiest clashes in the ongoing uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Both government and opposition forces considered control of Aleppo to be strategically important to their aims.
The FSA first seized parts of the city in July. In the months that followed, government forces battled to recapture it, with limited success. By the end of the year, the Syrian military had control over a western segment of the city, with the rebels entrenched in much of the east and south. Some of the fiercest fighting was in and around the Old City.