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Citing Betrayal, Some Syrian Rebels Withdraw From Front


Rebel fighters of al-Jabha al-Shamiya (Levant Front) warm themselves around a fire near the justice palace in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Jan. 28, 2016. (REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail )

Rebel fighters of al-Jabha al-Shamiya (Levant Front) warm themselves around a fire near the justice palace in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Jan. 28, 2016. (REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail )


After a week-long attack from Russian warplanes, some Syrian rebels are withdrawing from the fight in northern Syria.

The rebels are fighting against forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Some anti-Assad forces have taken shelter in tunnels or bomb-made craters, but some fighters are quitting.

Ahmad is a 20-year-old rebel fighter. He made the decision to withdraw from the fighting. He told VOA about the battles near Aleppo in northern Syria.

“The first day, the fight, it was easy,” he said. “After that, the second days and the third, it was very difficult. We lost a lot of people, a lot of friends, a lot of fighters.”

On the fourth day of fighting, Russian warplanes bombed everything in the area. Ahmad said he could feel and hear the force of the Russian bombs.

About 100 fighters withdrew from the battles. Ahmad said they withdrew because they felt betrayed. He said “friends of Syria” like the United States, western countries and other Gulf nations betrayed the fighters.

Aleppo and Damascus, Syria

Aleppo and Damascus, Syria

He also blamed the Free Syrian Army rebels and other Islamist brigades for not joining forces to defeat the Assad government's forces. It might be too late, he said.

The civil war in Syria will enter its fifth year this March.

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Jamie Dettmer reported on this story for VOANews.com. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

tunnel – n. a passage that goes under the ground

crater – n. a large round hole in the ground made by the explosion of a bomb

quit – v. to stop doing an action or activity

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