Syria rebels abandon key Aleppo district
SYRIAN rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the city of Aleppo have abandoned their positions in a district that has been a frontline of fighting in recent days.
"We have retreated, get out of here," a lone rebel fighter yelled at Reuters journalists as they arrived on Wednesday in the Salaheddine district. A checkpoint that had been manned by rebel fighters for the last week had disappeared.
A Syrian government security source told Lebanon's Al-Manar television that Syrian forces were now in control of the Salaheddine district.
Meanwhile, some of the Iranians kidnapped by Syrian rebels are retired members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and military, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying on Wednesday in Iranian media.
"Some of these (Iranians) were retired IRGC and military members ... and others were from other different departments," Salehi said, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency, though he denied they now have any military connection and insisted they were in Damascus for a religious pilgrimage.