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Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Monday, 30 July 2012 08:37 UK

Battle for Aleppo 'will shape Syria's destiny'

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Shelling and gunfire have shaken the Syrian city of Aleppo, with heavy weapons pounding rebel strongholds, and the United Nations says 200,000 people have fled in just a couple of days.

Correspondent Ian Pannell, reporting from Aleppo, says it is just the start of the battle for Aleppo but "it will shape the destiny of President Assad, the revolution he faces, and the Syrian nation".

One man told him that there is "shooting everywhere... explosions, bombings... it's been horrifying for the last few days... there's a lack of supplies, food, water, oil, gas, everything."

Dr Lars Berger, a lecturer on middle eastern politics at the University of Salford, told the Today programme that there is "no real military solution".

"Both sides are strong enough to avoid defeat but are not strong enough to really subdue the other side," he explains.


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