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Syria Rebels Appear to Make Big Weapons Seizure


In this screen grab from a video posted to You Tube by Syrian activists, rebels who claim to have captured a government arm depot show crates rockets and other arms.

In this screen grab from a video posted to You Tube by Syrian activists, rebels who claim to have captured a government arm depot show crates rockets and other arms.

Syrian rebels appear to have seized a large number of weapons from a government arms depot near the northern city of Aleppo.
Activists posted several videos to YouTube on Saturday and Sunday showing crates of weapons and ammunition they say were seized from the arms depot in the town of Khan Toman.
In one video, Islamist rebels loaded dozens of the crates onto a truck. In another, rebels inspected the interior of a seized building containing crates of rockets and other arms.

There was no independent confirmation of the rebel seizure of the arms depot. Other activist videos posted on YouTube in recent days appeared to show rebels trying to seize the compound.
Rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have seized large areas of northern and eastern Syria in recent months, including parts of Aleppo and the towns surrounding Syria's commercial capital. But Assad's forces remain in control of central Aleppo, his power base in Damascus and western regions dominated by his Alawite sect.
Syrian rebels have long complained about having inferior firepower compared to government tanks, warplanes and rockets supplied by Assad allies such as Russia. The opposition fighters frequently appeal to Western powers and their Arab partners to send them weapons to even the scale.
The exiled opposition Syrian National Coalition is preparing to vote for a prime minister to manage rebel-held parts of Syria. Opposition figures said Sunday the vote is likely to be held in Istanbul on Monday and Tuesday.
Favorites for the position include economist Osama Kadi, businessman Ghassan Hitto and former Syrian agriculture minister Assad Asheq Mustafa.
Kadi is the founder of the Washington-based research group Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies. Hitto has worked as a communications executive in the southern U.S. state of Texas. Mustafa appears to be the only major contender with experience of serving as a Syrian minister under the Assad family before defecting to the opposition.
The Syrian National Coalition hopes forming a rebel government will help bring order to communities freed from Assad's control.
Some opposition figures have criticized the group's decision to choose a prime minister, saying it should instead form an executive body to run rebel affairs or agree to a transitional government that includes members of Assad's administration.

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