Editor's note: CNN's Ivan Watson and crew are some of the few international reporters in Syria, whose government has been restricting access on foreign journalists and refusing many of them entry. Check out more from CNN inside Syria.
Rebel-controlled northern Syria (CNN) – Mohamed Rashid walked out of the gate of his house with a giant blood stain on his white T-shirt.
"This is the blood of a martyr! Of a hero! Of a lion!" he bellowed. "This is his blood. It is pure!"
Mad with grief, Rashid kissed his bloody T-shirt before being led away by worried relatives.
Just hours before, Rashid learned his son Abdul was killed in battle in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Housam Abdul Rashid was a 22-year-old defector from the army. He was also the fourth man from his small hilltop village to be killed fighting for the rebels.
The younger Rashid is one of the casualties of the five-day-old rebel offensive on Aleppo, the country's commercial capital. Another rebel, who asked only to be named "Khorshid" because his wife and children were still living in Aleppo, described how his comrade was killed by a helicopter gunship, while climbing onto a rooftop.
"Housam's specialty was a sniper," Khorshid said. "He went to the roof, and a helicopter gunship killed him. Another fighter from Aleppo with him was also killed. I was just 4 meters away when it happened."FULL STORY