Syria's Olympic Team (Gabriel Bouys/AFP)

While the bloody conflict in Syria rages on, the country's competitors in the 2012 Olympics are determined to give the games their all, despite tough times on the homefront. Most recently, the violence has shaken the city of Aleppo, and the New York Times reports that al-Qaida has joined the conflict. The Associated Press spoke with the Syrian Olympic team captain, who is attempting to maintain focus while hoping for the best.

Maher Khayata tells The Associated Press he is worried about his family, trapped in the city of Aleppo during one of the most important battles of a 17-month uprising against the government of Bashar Assad.

Activists say the army is pounding Aleppo to flush out rebels in the Syrian civil war.

Khayata says the army is trying to "protect people and keep them safe." He says that laying the siege to the country's largest city "is maybe the way to stop bloodshed throughout Syria."


Read more at the Associated Press.

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