The fight in Aleppo that has been locked in stalemate for months, fueled the frustration of armed terrorists who see no way out but to doggedly battle on.
“We take a building and then lose it two or three days later, only to take it back the following week,” said Abu Ahmed, the leader of a group that operates in the Salaheddin and Saif al-Dawla districts of the devastated city that was once Syria’s commercial capital.
“There is no progress. We are not winning the war,” the 42-year-old fighter grumbled, and added: “Take this street, for example. We took it in just an hour a year ago, and since then we haven’t advanced one meter [yard].”
According to the Agence France Presse correspondent the armed groups’ morale is particularly low . “One of the rebels has been seriously wounded by a sniper who shot him in the chest,” he stated.
Resting his AK-47 assault rifle against the wall and taking off his combat jacket, one of Abu Ahmed’s men said bluntly: “This war is wearing us down.”
“The food is bad, and there’s not enough of it. We can only wash a couple of times a week because we don’t always have water, and the electricity comes and goes.”
“We don’t have the luxury of wasting ammunition… If the army attacked now in force, we would only have enough to pull back without losing too many men.”
The daily tedium of the battle is relentless.
The men move through the night’s shadows, ghost-like shells of buildings on either side. Broken glass crunches under their boots.
“The commanders keep telling us to wait, that they are preparing a plan to take Salaheddin, but all we do is fire through holes in the wall.
“I don’t know what they’re waiting for. We can’t spend five or 10 years peering through holes in the wall and waiting for Allah to win the war for us.”