Battle for Aleppo rages in Syria
Rebels of the Free Syrian Army are so far managing to maintain a perilous hold on several key neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo - Syrian's largest and the commercial center of the country.
But the Syrian army is building up a massive armored force to move in and dislodge the FSA from their positions.
A Syrian activist told Reuters the rebels had earlier sought to extend their area of control from the Salaheddine district, where the most intense fighting has been focused, northwards to the area around the television and radio station.
"The Free Syrian Army pushed from Salaheddine to al-Adhamiya where they clashed this morning with Syrian troops. But they had to retreat," the activist who identified himself as Barraa al-Halabi told Reuters.
A 19-year-old fighter called Mu'awiya al-Halabi, who was at the scene, said Syrian snipers surrounded the station and targeted the rebels.
"We were inside it for a few hours after clashes with the Syrian army but the Syrian army sent snipers and surrounded the TV station and as soon as morning came, the army started shooting. One of our fighters was martyred and four were wounded," he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said 110 people had been killed on Friday, including 88 civilians, also confirmed the clash near the television and radio station. It said the terrestrial signal for Syrian television in Aleppo had been cut off.
Syrian television said a large number of terrorists, the term it uses for the rebels, were killed and wounded after they tried to storm the television and radio station in Aleppo.
A Reuters journalist who witnessed the clashes said a helicopter strafed rebel positions with machinegun fire near a police station which anti-Assad fighters took on Friday.
"Wake up, wake up. The army's coming," local rebel commander Abu Ali told fighters sleeping in the Zibdeyyeh police station.
Black smoke rose into the sky from areas of Salaheddine, which is seen as a gateway for the Syrian army into the city of 2.5 million inhabitants. Its fate could determine the outcome of a war that has already claimed some 18,000 lives.
At least 10% of the 2.5 million inhabitants of Aleppo have become refugees. The FSA has been pleading with the international community to feed and shelter the multitude as they have no food, even for themselves. Unless a way can be found to get food to these people sometime in the next week, a massive human tragedy beyond anything that has already happened in Syria will occur.