November 11th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

New Syrian group could bring the opposition together

Syrian opposition groups have taken a step toward creating a single organization that could combine their efforts.

Leaders of various groups meeting in Doha, Qatar, have reached an initial agreement to form a new umbrella national coalition, according to Syrian National Council member Mohammed Dugham.

Talks are continuing.

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July 25th, 2012
08:41 AM ET

Inside Syria: Faces of the Free Syrian Army

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."

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July 24th, 2012
09:41 AM ET

Inside Syria: A Syrian town's 'Street of Death'

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.

Atareb, Syria (CNN) - After months of fighting, the regime's men finally abandoned this strategic crossroads.

President Bashar al Assad's troops left behind a bullet-riddled ghost town patrolled by rebels and a handful of shell-shocked residents.

Fighters had renamed the stretch of the Bab el Hawa highway, which ran through the center of town, the "Street of Death." Until recently, they said anyone who dared set foot on it became a target.

A mini-graveyard of burned-out armored personnel carriers sat next to the main municipal building, which served as a base for government soldiers. Several weeks after rebels captured the town, the building's walls were still decorated with pro-regime graffiti proclaiming frightening ultimatums: "Either Bashar or we'll burn this city" and "Bashar or nothing."

"This used to be a very classy area. ... The Turks would come here to see our village," said a fighter named Abdullah Behri, who was treated in a hospital in nearby Turkey after losing his left eye to shrapnel during a battle here last May.

"Now it has all turned to hell," he said, pointing at the town's deserted streets.

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