Syria Crisis Digest: July 21 - 27

07/27/2012 02:38 pm ET

Each week, HuffPost World will provide the top stories out of Syria and a recap of events in the country's uprising, as President Bashar Assad’s regime continues its bloody crackdown.

July 21 - July 27 In Review

  • Clashes in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, started on Sunday and raged for five consecutive days. On Friday, the United States warned that a 'massacre' may be imminent.
  • Violence broke out in two Syrian refugee camps in Turkey. Security forces used tear gas, batons and fired shots into the air to quell the unrest.
  • Syria confirmed that it has chemical weapons, but said it would only use them against foreign attackers, not opposition fighters.
  • Activists say 11 men were executed in the Damascus district of Qaboun.
  • Turkey closed its border with Syria to trade but promised that refugees would be allowed to cross into the country.
  • Defected general and former Assad confident Manaf Tlass spoke out for the first time, saying he wanted to help Syria's divided opposition.

Media Not To Miss

Al Jazeera -- 'Smugglers With A Cause'
Mike Healy reports for Al Jazeera from Syria's border with Turkey. Watch his film below.

PBS -- 'Syria: Shabiha Militia Member Tells It Like It Is'
PBS talked to a member of the shabiha, a group of gunmen loyal to president Bashar Assad.

With his massive, tattooed muscles, shaved head, bushy black beard and trademark white trainers, Abu Jaafar, 38, looks every bit the figure of terror that is now imprinted on the international conscience. It is militiamen like Jaafar that are believed responsible for recent massacres in Houla and Qbeir, in which nearly 200 Sunni civilians were killed, many of them women and children who were stabbed to death.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports from the city of Deir-el Zour in Syria's east, where a group of exhausted rebels is trying to hold off the Syrian army.

Many of the rebels are close to exhaustion. Food is served once a day to the fighters and supplies have dwindled to a trickle. They take four hours to travel a gruelling route through government lines.