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Parts of Syria's old city of Aleppo covered in debris

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Closed shops, destroyed buildings and silence is what defined the scene in Syria's old city of Aleppo on Tuesday (October 16). Rebel forces walked around the old city checking roads, surrounding a city which has witnessed heavy fighting between rebels and state forces. The uprising-turned-civil war that is now raging across Syria has killed more than 30,000 people, according to activist groups such as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But beyond the dramatic human cost, many of Syria's historic treasures have also fallen victim to a 19-month-old conflict that has reduced parts of some cities to ruins. An ancient mosque in Aleppo's old city was badly damaged on Monday when fighting between rebels and government forces set fire to the building. The mosque's medieval arches were charred, its elaborate wooden panels smashed and metal filigree lanterns lay broken in the courtyard. "This is the Omawi Mosque. The situation on the ground is bad. The whole world is deaf and is not watching, we need ammunition", said a rebel commander. Syria's divided rebels have agreed to set up a joint leadership to oversee their battle to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, two insurgent sources said on Tuesday as fighting raged in cities across the country. Rebels hope the decision, taken after increasing pressure from foreign supporters on them to unite, will help convince those backers that they are a credible and co-ordinated fighting force deserving to be supplied with more powerful weapons.

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