Conflict spreads to Syria’s second main city
Thousands flee to Lebanon
Heavy clashes shook Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial capital, for a second day on Saturday as thousands streamed across the border into neighboring Lebanon to escape widespread fighting in the country.
Like Damascus, the country’s capital, Aleppo had long been seen as a stronghold of government support. That the revolt is now spreading there represents another blow to the regime in a week that has seen its veneer of control in the country’s two biggest cities shattered by the assassinations of four of its top security officials in a bombing.
As many as 30,000 Syrians may have crossed into Lebanon in recent days, a spokeswoman for the United Nations said Friday.
Among the crowds at the border Saturday was 19-year-old Domou, an Iraqi woman married to a Syrian man, whose life was upended in the span of one week as Damascus descended into chaos.
Last Sunday, Domou and her husband were elated when she gave birth to a boy at a hospital in Damascus. Three days later, the baby died in an incubator when electricity was cut across the capital after the attack on the top officials.
When chaos began to spread across the city, the couple realized they had to get their young daughter out.
“After my baby died, I got very scared for my daughter. I knew we had to leave,” said Domou, a soft-spoken woman wearing a black abaya and brown scarf. Like others, she spoke on the condition that her full name not be used, fearing for her safety.