Syria denies losing control of state TV branch

Media reports on Qatari and Saudi-run TVs claim that Syrian rebels groups have taken control of the state-run media centre in Aleppo.

Last Updated: Aug 04, 2012, 15:23 PM IST

Damascus: The Syrian state TV on Saturday denied as "absolutely baseless" media reports circulated on Qatari and Saudi-run TVs that the rebels groups have taken control of the state-run media centre in northern Aleppo province.

The Saudi-funded al-Arabyia TV said the so-called Free Syrian Army rebels have taken control of the media centre in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Syria`s state TV said the armed "mercenaries" have attacked the civilians and the surrounding of the state media centre, adding that the Syrian Army has responded back and prevented them.

The pro-government Sham FM radio also cited its reporters in Aleppo as denying the rebels` claim, adding that severe clashes are currently undergo in Aleppo.

The clashes in Aleppo have been raging on since last week after the armed insurgents declared the commencement of their operation to "liberate" Aleppo, Syria`s largest city and commercial hub.

The western and Arab backed armed rebels have been trying to make territorial gains in Aleppo due to its strategic location on the borders with Turkey, a fervent supporter of the anti-regime movement in Syria, in order to make a scenario akin to the Libyan one when the NATO-backed rebels had managed to use Benghazi as launching pad for their assaults.