Aleppo Syria Sports

SYRIA cheers as they watch a football match in Aleppo, a war-torn city in Syria's Eastern Ghouta region, on Sunday, March 4, 2016. Syrians cheer as they watch a football match in the war-ravaged city. SYRIANS cheer as they watch a basketball game at the Al-Azhar stadium in Damascus on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

A combination of images shows the Old City of Aleppo in Syria, destroyed during the war, in this overall shot from a drone. Aleppo's historic citadel is controlled by rebels as seen from the air in Aleppo, Syria, Friday, March 4, 2016. A combination picture of a soccer match between Aleppo and Al-Azhar in the west of the city, which has always been under the control of the regime, hangs on a wall as riot police officers watch the action during a basketball game at the Al-Azhar stadium in Damascus, Saturday, April 1, 2017. This combination of general views taken by drones shows Aleppo's "historic" citadel, which is controlled by rebels. The Syrian army captured areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday, July 13, 2015. A general view of the Syrian city from a drone seen through a glass window in an apartment building in eastern Aleppo, Thursday, June 30, 2014. Syria's "historic citadels" are inspected from the ground as seen from a camera on the roof of an office building in Old Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, August 2, 2013.

Incredibly, despite the conflict, the Syrian League has somehow managed to continue to operate only in Latakia, outside the capital Damascus. The stadium itself, with a capacity of 10,000, has played a number of international matches since the start of the civil war in Aleppo. For example, it has provided neutral ground for two Premier League teams to play, and one indoor tennis stadium houses the Al-Azhar Tennis Club, one of Syria's leading tennis clubs.

National Football Association officials said last month that Syria League games will return to the central cities of Homs and Hama if they are deemed safe. National Football Association officials have said in recent months that Syrian league games will be returned to a central location, Homs or Hamas, if it is deemed safer. The Syrian Football League has fallen into the hands of extremists, according to an official of the Syrian Football Association.

National Football Association officials said last month that Syria League games would be returned to the central cities of Homs and Hama if they were deemed safe.

Asked where he would turn next, Assad said his first priority would be to fortify the areas around Aleppo city of Idlib. Government forces will now likely try to protect the city's suburbs from rebel forces - the al-Nusra Front - and other rebel groups, but the battle for Aleppo itself is likely to be a battle between Assad's forces and the rebels and their allies in Idlib province.

The recapture of the former Syrian commercial capital Aleppo would be the war's greatest price for Assad. If President Bashar al-Assad wants to transform battlefield success into a full return to power, it will be crucial to restore the city's status as a major hub for football and other sports in Syria. Aleppo is an important part of Syrian sport and hopefully we can allow them to continue that tradition.

Last year, the Syrian General Committee for Sports and Youth opened a sports training center in the city where children can play football, judo, wrestling and chess.

Moscow and Damascus routinely refer to the fight against rebels in eastern Aleppo as a fight against "terrorists," despite the sector's large civilian population. The Syrian government, led by the Syrian Al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front and the Islamic State, controls other major cities, and major attacks are possible. The Executive Office is distributed by the Syrian General Committee for Sport and Youth, one of the largest and most powerful organizations in the country.

The US-led coalition and Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, have denied that air strikes have been carried out in the region. The development is the latest sign that Russia is increasingly concerned about the impact of its military intervention in eastern Aleppo.

The Syrian army, backed by Russia and Iran, has driven the rebels out of Aleppo in a devastating campaign, but is still struggling with financial problems and huge infrastructure damage. The war has gone better for the Assad army and its allies, who have infiltrated the energy fields.

The Syrian pro-government league, which had been confined to two cities - Damascus and Latakia - is resuming operations in other parts of the country.

Syrian army keeps supply lines between Aleppo and Damascus open and the border. The journey from Aleppo to Aleppo itself can be dangerous, but Al-Hurriya is on the side of Aleppo and has been playing in the city for the past two weeks, while Syria has played its first games of the season against the Syrian National Football League in Damascus.

More About Aleppo

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