Aleppo - Rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Aleppo promised a counter-attack on Friday after losing ground earlier and residents fled in cars crammed with belongings during a lull in fighting.
The rebels were pushed back from the Salaheddin district on Thursday by troops seeking to reestablish control over Syria's largest city and its economic hub - a crucial arena in a struggle which the United Nations said would have no winner.
"I have about 60 men positioned strategically at the frontline and we are preparing a new attack today," said Abu Jamil, a rebel commander, saying sniper fire in Salaheddine had prevented his men from retrieving a comrade's body for two days.
Reuters journalists saw residents streaming out of Aleppo, seizing on a calm spell to pack vehicles with mattresses, fridges and toys. At least two air force planes flew overhead.
Random shooting echoed from inside Salaheddine, a former rebel stronghold that controls access to Aleppo from the south, and an unmanned drone aircraft buzzed directly overhead.
Some residents of the shattered neighborhood slipped back to try to salvage possessions, despite army snipers lurking there. Two civilians were hit by gunfire in nearby streets.