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MIDEAST > Syria rebels control border post with Turkey

BAB AL-HAWA, Syria - Agence France-Presse

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Syrian rebels walk at the entrance to a building of the Bab al-Hawa border post with Turkey on July 20, 2012 in Bab al-Hawa. AFP photo

Syrian rebels walk at the entrance to a building of the Bab al-Hawa border post with Turkey on July 20, 2012 in Bab al-Hawa. AFP photo

Syrian rebels were in full control of the Bab al-Hawa border post with Turkey after overrunning it in a fierce battle with Syrian troops, an AFP photographer at the scene reported on Friday.

The carcasses of burnt-out lorries were scattered across the scene of the battle. Some 150 armed rebel fighters were in control of the post, which lies opposite Turkey's Cilvegozu border crossing in the southern province of Hatay.
 
The rebel fighters had already sacked the buildings making up the Syrian border post, which were bloodstained and riddled with bullets from Thursday's battle.
 
They had also helped themselves to the contents of the Turkish lorries that were caught up in the battle as they waited to cross the border.
 
Some of the rebels had used spray paint to write "Victory" on the walls.
 
Syrian government soldiers had abandoned the site. There was no sign of any bodies.
 
The border post lies in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, the scene of fierce fighting for months now.
 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had on Thursday announced the capture of the border post, the first to fall to the rebels since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted more than 16 months ago.
 
A video posted on YouTube showed armed men at the site firing in the air to celebrate their victory and destroying a large portrait of Assad.

July/20/2012

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