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VICE News

In Photos: Embedded with the Islamic Front in Aleppo

For two weeks this summer, VICE News embedded with the Islamic Front, a coalition of Islamist rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State militants.

by VICE News
Sep 19 2014, 3:40pm

Photos de Frederick Paxton

Aleppo, one of the world's oldest cities, is now a wasteland. Since the Syrian civil war reached Aleppo two years ago, Syria's commercial and industrial capital has been the scene of bitter house- to-house fighting, as both the rebels and regime struggle for overall control.

For two weeks this summer, VICE News embedded with the Islamic Front, a coalition of Islamist rebels fighting the forces of President Bashar al-Assad on one hand, and Islamic State militants on the other. Against overwhelming odds, members of the Islamic Front battled to retain control of the capital of the Syrian revolution.

Check out the trailer for VICE News' upcoming documentary Ghosts of Aleppo here.

A bridge connecting Saif ad-Dawla and the old city of Aleppo. Cars move quickly through this area as it lies in the sights of government snipers.

An Islamic Front fighter walks through deserted streets in the old city neighborhood, Aleppo. The city has been stuck in a war of attrition since the opposition rebel fighters took half of the city in summer 2012.

A destroyed building in the old city of Aleppo, near the frontline positions between rebel fighters and the forces of Bashir al-Assad's army.

A Tawhid fighter poses with his AK and homemade grenades in the old city of Aleppo. Fighting in the city is street to street combat, with rebels lobbing grenades over the walls toward regime positions, who frequently retaliate with mortar fire.

Fighters from Liwa al-Tawhid load a "hell cannon," an improvised weapon made by rebels forces.

Rebels fire a "hell cannon," the weapons are thought to have a range of 1.5 kilometers and were first used by the Ahrar al-Shamal brigades.

Rebel fighters prepare to fire a SPG-9 missile, from a modified launcher.

Young children play in a pool created in a crater from an airstrike. It is feared the ongoing war is creating a "lost generation" in Syria as millions of young people go without schooling in the conflict that has displaced millions of Syrians both within the country and into neighboring nations.

A man awaits treatment for his injuries in a hospital in Aleppo. Despite an excellent education system which trained thousands of doctors in Syria prior to the war, Aleppo's medical services have faced a crippling lack of staff as the war has gone on.

As rebel forces have been depleted, younger men have joined the ranks to defend the city, like this young man in Aleppo.

All photos by Frederick Paxton

Follow Frederick Paxton on Twitter: @freddiepaxton