With the Assad regime directing the full force of its military at Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, the Syrian government is pulling forces out of surrounding towns a cause for celebration among rebels there. NBC's Richard Engel reports from inside one of those towns, in northern Syria. By NBC News and wire reports The United States has "grave concerns" about the situation in Syria, the State Department said Thursday, as President Bashar Assad's forces withdrew from many towns and villages and focused their firepower on the key city of Aleppo. "This is the concern, that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that's what the regime appears to be lining up for," said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Citing "columns of tanks" outside the city, Nuland said the Syrian military "seem(s) to be massing for an attack." She called the use of fixed wing aircraft in addition to helicopter gunships a "serious escalation in this conflict." "It could be a humanitarian disaster for the people of Aleppo," NBC News' Richard Engel reported from northern Syria. "It also means the Syrian troops are forced to make trade offs. They don't have enough loyal troops to make the offensive against Aleppo and hold these rural areas." The key city of Aleppo has come under ferocious assault, bombarded by fighter jets and machine gun fire. The Syrian government's main priority is taking control of the major cities without enough troops to control the entire country, they are on the offensive. NBC's Richard Engel reports from northern Syria. Nuland said Assad's regime was "increasingly losing control of its territory, that there are swaths of the country that are no longer under the control of the regime, that his tactics are increasingly violent, increasingly desperate as that happens." Military experts believe an overstretched Syrian army is pulling back to concentrate on fighting insurgents in Aleppo and Damascus, important power centers for the government, while leaving outlying areas in the hands of rebels. Assad's forces have launched massive counterattacks in both cities. Pierre Torres / AFP Getty Images Free Syria Army opposition fighters guard a group of police officers Wednesday after overrunning the Shaar district police post in Aleppo. Meanwhile, opposition activists said thousands of troops had withdrawn with their tanks and armored vehicles from Idlib province near the Turkish border and were heading toward Aleppo. Rebels attacked the rear of the troops withdrawing from the north, activist Abdelrahman Bakran told Reuters from the area. Fierce clashes raged in the early hours in Aleppo itself, and an activist said rebels now controlled half of the city, a claim that could not be independently verified. Council on Foreign Relations: What you need to know about the Syrian crisis "There was shelling this morning on the Salaheddine and Mashhad districts," Aleppo activist Abu Hisham told Reuters. "Now it stopped, but helicopters are buzzing overhead." After months of protests and violent crackdowns, a look back at the violence that has overtaken the country. Activists said 24 people were killed in fighting in and around Aleppo on Wednesday, swelling a national death toll of about 18,000 since the revolt against Assad began 16 months ago. 'Terrorists are suffering terrible losses' State run Syrian television painted a more favorable picture, saying government troops were imposing security and stability in and around Aleppo. "The terrorists are suffering terrible losses. Groups of them are throwing their weapons away and giving themselves up. Others are fleeing for the Turkish border," the television report said. Photos: The battle for Aleppo Engel and other journalists have repeatedly observed government troops retreating from "secondary towns" so they can fight opposition forces in the capital Damascus and now Aleppo, leaving vast swathes of the countryside under rebel control. "When government forces pull out of a place they lose control and immediately rebel flags go up and rebels hold celebrations," Engel said. "Those celebrations have been attacked so now the rebels are deciding not to hold celebrations because they're noisy, they have lights and they're easy to target." Total war: Syria sends armored column to Aleppo Meanwhile, north of Aleppo, the town of Azaz has been almost completely destroyed by heavy fighting, Reuters reported. Burned out armored personnel carriers sat on the roads where rebels hit them with rocket propelled grenades. Bullet casings were scattered everywhere. The Syrian government's army is descending on the northern city of Aleppo after the city was seized by rebels. NBC's John Ray reports. In another key development, neighbor Turkey was not allowing goods or people to pass over the Bab al Hawa border crossing after rebels took base near Aleppo over the weekend, Engel said. "Maybe they're concerned about there being too many rebels or refugees crossing," he said. "There may also be concern that the Turks may be losing control of security in sourthern Turkey." Air Jordan 5 Light Graphite White Wolf Grey ,Air Jordan 11 Low White Black Red Air Jordan Spizike Challenge Red Air Jordan 5 3Lab5 Air Jordan 2 Infrared Cement Air Jordan 3Lab5 Black Metallic Silver Air Jordan 6 Rings Black Varsity Royal Air Jordan 14 Retro White Sport Red Black Air Jordan 2 Infrared Cement Air Jordan 3Lab5 Black Metallic Silver This line will be perfect for the fall as I see this is already a trend for us "ShoeNistas" right now. 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How Can i Buy Air Jordan 5 Light Graphite White Wolf Grey,Air Jordan 14 Retro White Sport Red Black It another boy for Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott! The reality star duo welcomed baby 4 this evening, a son named Finn Davey McDermott. Finn was born at 5:39pm weighing 6lbs, 6oz and measuring 20 inches long. Tori shared the happy news on her Web site, also posting a sweet photo of her newborn son tiny fingers curled around hers (note the maternity manicure!). Finn, who Tori recently revealed will be the family final addition, joins an already full house she and Dean are also parents to son Liam, 5, and daughters Stella, 4, and Hattie, 10 months, and Dean has a teenaged son named Jack from his previous marriage. Hot on the heels of her daughter Hattie birth, the pregnancy news came as a surprise to just about everyone including Tori herself! "All my friends keep asking me [if it was planned] and I like, Hattie was one month old," she said. "Do you think it was planned?' I was up all night with feedings. I was overweight much of the time and had PCOS. Then I had a bypass and had just gotten my first pack of pills that I thought I would be starting since I had my period (actually was just spotting) and ended in the hospital with gall stones at which point they discovered I was pregnant. Then I was on the pill after that pregnancy and got a second surprise when my dd was 9.5 mos old! They are 17 mos apart. Funny thing is, the PLAN was that IF we were going to try for another we would be working on it now wanted my oldest to be starting kindergarten when sibling came along. What isn funny is that I wanted to be done at two kids, I wasn prepared for it to be over just yet. Still dreaming about the little boy I always wanted, but hubby says we are done. I keep telling him I just have it with my next husband (joke, seriously!!!). I am pregnant now with my surprise. I has pcos and was told I had a less than 1% chance of conceiving then I had gastric bypass surgery and was given a boost of a 12% chance of conceiving so my husband didn think we could get pregnant we already had a six year old daughter so we were okay. Then a trip to the essence suites happened and now six months later here we are still in shock every time we get an ultra sound. But we thank God for our soon to be daughter Sydney Claire we along with big sister Savannah can wait to meet her. This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Air Jordan 5 Light Graphite White Wolf Grey Manolo Blahniks are among the most fashionable shoe wear for women today. They are also very costly. 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You can directly go to the Manolo Blahniks section (you can find it on the high end part of the shoe department), and you will see some discounted items. If you have friends who love shoes like you, rummage their closet and you will surely find Manolos somewhere. You can offer them a price. With determination and a lot of persistence to the point of being obnoxious, surely your friend would accommodate just to make you stop. Go to second hand clothing stores and consignment shops. Most of the goods being sold there are only slightly used so you wouldn't have to worry about worn off shoes. Plus they offer really low priced merchandises. It is a very good place to bargain. Plan a shopping adventure with your friends and go to the streets of New York City. Head to Tightwad Shopping Excursion. They offer a day of shopping trips to factory outlets and wholesale merchandising. They can also help you find ways on how to get designer's shoes (such as Manolo Blahniks) at a very low price. 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Go on and have fun with your endeavor. Treat it like a treasure hunt, and make each obstacle fun and exciting. You will never be disappointed.
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