Thursday, July 19, 2012

Syria Rebels Take Over Border Crossings

Rebels have attacked Syrian forces along the border with Iraq, killing 21 soldiers and seizing control of two major border posts, a senior Iraqi army official said.

Iraq has closed the main border post with Syria and sent troops to the frontier after the rebels took control of the Abu Kamal crossing, the mayor of the Iraqi town of Qaim, Fahan Fitaihan, said.

Amateur video posted online also showed rebels taking over the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, where they tore up portraits of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said: "It is a significant development...If a country's leader no longer controls the passage in and out of his country, then you are in a different phase."

The developments on the borders come as activists say 250 people were killed in Syria on Thursday - the highest daily number since the revolt against Assad began 16 months ago.

And nearly 19,000 Syrians, many from the capital, have fled from violence at home across the border into Lebanon since Wednesday, a Lebanese security source said.

The Free Syrian Army is also saying that all border points between Iraq and Syria are under their control, but this has not been confirmed. Read More