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Syrian rebels capture parts of army base in north

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 10, 2012 at 8:21 a.m.

— Syrian rebels captured parts of another large army base in the country’s north, just west of the city of Aleppo, tightening the opposition’s grip on areas close to the Turkish border, activists said Monday.

Elsewhere, the rebels killed 13 soldiers in an ambush near a strategic northern town along a road linking Aleppo with Damascus, activists reported.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels entered the Sheik Suleiman military base Sunday afternoon, after weeks of fighting around it.

The development was a significant boost for the rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad and defeat his military. Last month, they captured another base near Aleppo, the Syrian army’s 46th Regiment base.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads to Observatory, said the rebels who stormed Sheik Suleiman belong to hardline Islamic militant groups.

Abdul-Rahman tsaid fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, Mujahedeen Shura Council and the Muhajireen group took part in the battle for the Sheik Suleiman base.

U.S. officials have said the Obama administration is preparing to designate the Jabhat al-Nusra group, which has alleged ties to al-Qaida, a terrorist organization.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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