TODAY | October 01, 2012
>>> now to another country at the brink. syria , where deadly violence between government rebel forces is raging between those two entities. nbc's ann curry is along the border with turkey after she crossed into the war zone over the weekend. ann, good morning to you.
>> reporter: that's right. good morning to you, david. good morning, everybody. as the war in syria takes a dramatic turn, we cross the border and head toward the war-attorney city of aleppo where there is a decisive battle on multiple fronts. taborder crossing from turkey, we walk toward syria . it's pretty calm, actually. but we understand there was an attack four miles from the border and 60 were killed. and we drove into what is known as free syria and they clearly want it know, they're in charge. but the hold is fragile so we're careful not to make wrong turns. you're saying this is the way you're going to run into the syrian army ?
>> reporter: a government soldier who switched sides drives us on the safest route in, past bombed-out building in one town after another, including azaz, now nicknamed the graveyard of tanks. for miles in this northern pocket of territory, check points are controlled by the free syrian army . we saw long bread lines with children. refugees escaping in trucks. and three miles from the embattled city of aleppo , smoke rising from a recent air strike . aleppo is now nearly in ruins as the battle rages on multiple fronts. this listed as a world heritage site burned out of control over the weekend. ahmad assuage, a local businessman turned rebel commands as many as 2,700 fighters from a villa on the outskirts of aleppo . why is aleppo so strategically importa important? he tells us, aleppo is the cultural and economic capital and the state relies on it. and he added, he is prepared to die fighting for it. he admits the rebels have far fewer weapons. but, he says, they have a greater will. claiming 500 new recruits volunteer every month. he says they are sent into battle after one month's training. this boy says he's 15, but looks younger. the commander encysts only those 18 or older are allowed to fight. suddenly, we hear the sound of a war plane. everyone knows to take cover. and as we wait it out, the commander tells us, he could really use a no-fly zone. he says that the u.s. and the world, if they won't give us a no-fly zone, then give us missiles and in two days, this war will be over. fear of air strikes is a major reason why more than 1 million people inside syria are living on the run. more than half of them children, according to the u.n. one held up a photo of a brother said to be killed. [ speaking in foreign language ]
>> reporter: in a tent, she points to her 11-year-old son who was wounded in an aerial bombing. she is saying, what has he done to deserve this? today the planes came back again and he started screaming. i want to ask the pilot, do you not have children? if they want a war, why don't they fight on a front line ? and about syria 's president, she says, would he like to see his own children wounded before his own eyes? and the war continues unstopped. just this morning, activists said syrian troops bombed a town just four miles from the turkish border. reportedly, 12 people were killed, including five children, and the death toll is expected to rise. david?
>> ann curry along the syrian border this morning. ann, thank