Syrian activists say rebels have captured the governor of the northern province of Raqqa, after largely pushing government forces from the area's capital city.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday the fighters seized Hassan Jalili, calling him the highest-ranking official to be captured since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began.
The rebels took control of large parts of Raqqa city on Monday, but activists say clashes continue in some areas of the provincial capital. The city is on the Euphrates river about 80 kilometers south of Turkey.
The rebels now hold parts of several major Syrian cities, including Aleppo in the north, suburbs of the capital Damascus, and the central city of Homs. The gains are a significant blow to Mr. Assad's regime, which for two years has been battling an uprising that has escalated into a full-blown civil war.