The Syrian army seized control on Wednesday of the strategic border town of Qusair, Syrian media and security sources said, in a major advance for President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the country's two-year civil war.
Rebels said they had pulled out of Qusair, which lies on a cross-border supply route with neighbouring Lebanon and where they had fought fierce battles with government forces and Hezbollah guerrillas for more than two weeks.
One Hezbollah fighter told Reuters that they took the town in a rapid overnight offensive, allowing some of the fighters to flee. "We did a sudden surprise attack in the early hours and entered the town. They escaped," he said.