Photographer Tracey Shelton captured the quick and devastating events of battle on the front lines of Syria's civil war, in the city of Aleppo, in this gripping series of images taken earlier this week and originally published in Global Post.
Control of Allepo - the largest city in Syria, with 3 million residents, and once a bastion of support for President Bashar Assad - is critical for both the regime and the opposition.
Shelton writes that she was filming a feature on life on the frontlines of Aleppo, camping out with the men of Noor Den al-Zenke batallion, in a two-block stretch of backstreets that now form the final line between government troops and opposition forces. Here, lounge chairs salvaged from abandoned homes formed an area for chatting and drinking tea. Meals were prepared on a grass mat in the middle of the street, while lookouts posted at each street corner watch and listen for new sniper positions and approaching troops and tanks.
From left to right: Issa Aiash, 30, father of three; his young brother Ahmed, 17; and Sheihk Mamoud, 42, father of a newborn son, laugh and joke as they clean their post Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, site of a tank attack the day before.