Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Dealing with returning jihadists: Is de-radicalisation possible?

Read more

ENCORE!

Noel Gallagher, Bryce Dessner and ‘David Bowie is’ in Paris

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Agent Storm': How a militant Islamist became a CIA spy

Read more

FOCUS

China: New reform set to benefit migrants

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Caged children in Syria and dumpster diving in Ivory Coast

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French local elections: April 21st all over again?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Nemtsov murder: 'Calculated political violence'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Paul Kagame visits UNESCO HQ in Paris

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Samsung hopes to win back lost ground with new phones

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 8.40 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2013-10-08

Syria: On the frontline with the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo

Rebels and regime forces are locked into a brutal battle for control of Aleppo, and FRANCE 24 reporters managed to enter northern Syria’s main city to meet fighters with the Free Syrian Army.

In the small town of Kilis on the Turkish-Syrian border, we have to wait several days for the green light from our fixers to go “across”. One morning at dawn, the signal is given.

The border is porous and surprisingly easy to cross. We meet other journalists, and even foreign fighters who are off to join the jihad in Syria.

On the other side, our four "hosts" are waiting for us. They are all heavily armed and driving a battered old black BMW sporting a Free Syrian Army (FSA) flag. How discreet…

The trip to Aleppo takes no more than an hour and the whole area supposed to be under the control of the FSA, but it remains dangerous. Ambushes involving Bashar al-Assad’s forces are commonplace. Our driver tells us that the worst thing - while driving with the window down and music blaring - is helicopter attacks. "But don’t worry, I always hear them arriving from a distance”, he states confidently. We remain sceptical ...

Our driver explains that at his signal we will have to leave everything in the car and jump onto the nearest embankment.

Welcome to Syria…

On arrival in Aleppo, we discover a city divided into factions. Each group occupies a neighbourhood: rebel fighters, regime forces, Kurds, Islamists, foreign fighters, Sunni locals...

In some places, life has returned to normal. We can see markets filled with foodstuffs and children playing football, while only two miles away, the war rages on.

In the old town which is now reduced to a pile of rubble, at the heart of the old souk once listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, we meet Abdul Maleck. This 29-year-old Sunni local commands a group of 30 fighters. This local commander will be our guide in war torn Aleppo...

By Manolo d'Arthuys

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-02-25 Pakistan

Pakistani Taliban set their sights on police

The Pakistani Taliban are targeting police in Karachi. Over 140 officers were killed last year, most of them victims of targeted assassinations.

Read more

2015-02-20 West Bank

Building in the West Bank

In the West Bank, Jewish settlements continue to expand. Some are authorised by the Israeli government, some not, but all are considered illegal by the international community...

Read more

2015-02-12 Tunisia

Tunisians flock to join the jihad

As Tunisia moves slowly forward on the path to democracy, the country is proportionally one of the biggest exporters of jihadist fighters. Over the past three years thousands of...

Read more

2015-02-05 India

India: the myth of 'Love Jihad'

In India, where religious tensions and violence are on the rise, Hindu extremists are accusing Muslims of practising “Love Jihad”. India’s Muslims deny these accusations and...

Read more

2015-01-16 Charlie Hebdo

Paris attacks: Who were the terrorists?

For three days, they spread fear and horror across France, killing 17 people before being shot dead by police. Their rampage began with an attack on satirical weekly Charlie...

Read more