>> Syrian fighters prepare to storm a government artillery base in northern Aleppo. Jash Alphata, a rag tag correlation of fighters says it took fortress like academy. But the Syrian army claims to have repelled the attack. A quarter of a million civilians live in Aleppo's rebel held eastern neighborhood.
They're effectively besieged by the Syrian army and its allies. Aleppo, once Syria's second biggest city, has been ravaged by five years of war. It's been divided between government control and rebels since 2012. The Islamist rebel coalition is pouring in fighters for what they call the epic battle for Aleppo.
But the army claims it foiled the attack on the base and two other military academies. Hundreds of rebels were killed and their tanks destroyed in the process, it says. The opposition said high altitude jets believed to be Russian intensified strikes on the area. The assault was the biggest attempt by the Syrian opposition on government-held areas in years.