Syrian rebels take two policemen into custody in Aleppo. The rebels alleged they were pro-government militiamen. Both sides appear to be preparing for a battle that could last weeks. (Emin Ozmen, AFP/Getty Images / August 2, 2012)
BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday exhorted his military to maintain “continued preparedness,” as human rights groups condemned an apparent rebel execution of Assad loyalists in the embattled northern city of Aleppo.
Assad lauded his troops’ role in “confronting the criminal terrorist gangs,” a reference to the rebels fighting across a wide swath of the country, in a statement marking the anniversary of the founding of the army, state media reported.
Meanwhile, video surfaced online appearing to show the execution of members of a loyalist clan in an Aleppo neighborhood.
Graphic video: Syrian rebels execute government soldiers, Aleppo