ALEPPO, Syria (AP) -- The rumble of engines in the sky immediately set the Aleppo neighborhood below on edge. Men peeked from shops anxiously at the Syrian warplane circling slowly overhead. Housewives emerged on balconies to gauge whether they were about to be hit. But the kids hanging out on the street were unfazed. One kept dribbling his basketball.
Finally, the jet struck. Engines revving louder, it dove and unleashed a burst of heavy machine-gunfire into a nearby part of the city. It soared back up under a hail of rebel anti-aircraft fire, then swooped back down for a second strafing run.
The women on the balconies broke into tears, fearing for the children in the street. But the boys just pointed at the jet, shouting "God is great" in challenge. "God send you to hell, Bashar," one boy yelled as the jet flew away.
With death lurking around every corner, the survival instincts of Aleppo's population are being stretched to the limit every day as the battle between Syria's rebels and the regime of President Bashar Assad for the country's largest city stretches through its fourth destructive month. Residents in the rebel-held neighborhoods suffering the war's brunt tell tales of lives filled with fear over the war in their streets, along with an ingenuity and resilience in trying to keep their shattered families going.
And while residents of the rebel-held areas express their hatred of Assad's regime and their dream of seeing him go, they also voice their worries over the rebels and the destruction that their offensive has brought to their city. Graffiti on the shutter of a closed store declares the population's sense of resignation: "God, you are all we've got." [17 photos total]

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A Syrian man holds shrapnel in front of a building damaged by Syrian government shelling in Karmal Jabl district Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. With death lurking around every corner, the survival instincts of Aleppo's population are being stretched to the limit every day as the battle between Syria's rebels and the regime of President Bashar Assad for the country's largest city stretches through its fourth destructive month. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A general view of damaged buildings from shelling in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian man sleeps in the basement of a building for protection from Syrian government forces shelling in Shaar district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian doctor sleeps in the waiting room of Dar al-Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian man loads his truck with his belongings before fleeing Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Syrian men stand in line to buy bread in Shaar district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Syrian men sit in front of a street cafe in Shaar district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian youth stands inside his bakery shop in Shaar district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian street vendor sits in front of his birds in Shaar district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Free Syrian Army fighter cleans a main street in Shaar district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian boy rides his bike in Karma Jabl district in Aleppo, Syria on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian man walks past closed shops in Shaar district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian man runs for cover from sniper fire in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian street vendor reloads a fuel tank on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian vegetable vendor waits for customers on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Syrian boy sleeps on a sidewalk near Karma Jabl district in Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A street filled with debris in Shaar district, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #

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