SYRIA: Harem residents live in fear

Residents live in constant fear of air-strikes due to the ongoing civil war in Syria.

Medical personnel carry a man wounded in shelling in a town near Darkoush, Syria, on 17 March 2013. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

SYRIA - Syrian rebels have set up checkpoints around the strategic border town of Harem, where residents say they live in fear of further air strikes.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the two-year civil war which was sparked by anti-government protests.

Large parts of the north are controlled by the Free Syrian Army.

Rebel fighters armed with assault rifles are manning a series of checkpoints leading into Harem.

The Free Syrian Army gained control of the town after a siege which ended on Christmas Day.

Heavy fighting and air strikes have scarred the town and its residents.

Inside one of the many crumbling buildings, Hussam Kribati lives in a small apartment with his wife and two young children.

He says Harem used to be a popular place to visit.

His brother used to live in the apartment next door, but the walls have been ripped apart by missiles.

The rebels want President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but he remains defiant.