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Decisive fighting continues in Syria (2)

(Xinhua)

11:14, August 01, 2012

The clashes in Aleppo are gaining momentum, in part due to the province's location near the Turkish borders, which have recently turned into a smuggling route for weapons and foreign fighters seeking to wage 'Jihad' in Syria.

The British government has reportedly warned that the worsening situation in Syria could attract Jihadists.

Meanwhile, Guardian said Tuesday that "scores of foreign Jihadists have crossed into Syria from Turkey in the past two weeks, some of them telling Syrians that they are planning to travel to Aleppo to join a decisive battle against regime troops," adding that "Syrian residents and a Turkish smuggler interviewed by Guardian said many of the men have come from Caucasus, while others from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Gulf Arab states."

The Syrian leadership has for long said that Al-Qaida and like- minded groups are involved in the fighting against the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Experts believe that the Jihadists are mainly motivated by their willingness to fight the Alawite government, an offshoot of Shiism, which it considered by extremists as "heresy."

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday that as many as 200,000 people in and around Aleppo have fled their homes over the weekend.

As the chaos on the ground heated, Haitham al-Maleh, an 80-year- old opposition figure reportedly said he has been asked by the " Council of Syrian Revolutionary Trustees to form a government in exile."

According to the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera TV, Maleh said he has been "tasked with leading a transitional government," and that he will begin consultations with the opposition inside and outside the country.
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