News / Middle East

Syrian Rebels Capture Key Southern Town

Free Syrian Army fighters cheer after saying they seized the al-Yadoudeh government checkpoint in al-Yadoudeh area in Deraa March 24, 2013.
Free Syrian Army fighters cheer after saying they seized the al-Yadoudeh government checkpoint in al-Yadoudeh area in Deraa March 24, 2013.
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VOA News
Syrian activists say rebels captured a strategic town near the border with Jordan Friday, as the opposition continues its advance in the south.

The British Observatory for Human Rights says rebels forced most government troops out of the town of Dael in Daraa province following 24 hours of deadly battles. At least 16 rebels and several others were killed in the fighting.

The area, which has seen renewed clashes, serves as an important gateway to the capital, Damascus. The Observatory also said fighting broke out Friday in areas surrounding the capital, including Qaboon and Yarmuk.

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It comes a day after mortar fire killed as many as 15 students at Syria's Damascus University. State media blamed the attack on the opposition. Opposition activists also reported the bombing, but did not say who was responsible.

The two-year-old civil war, which began as a peaceful uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, has killed at least 70,000 people.

  • Anti-Syrian regime protesters hold banners and flags during a demonstration in the neighborhood of Bustan Al-Qasr in Aleppo, March 29, 2013.
  • Syrians living in Jordan take part in a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in front of the Syrian embassy in Amman, March 29, 2013.
  • Protests against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad take place in Aleppo, March 29, 2013.
  • This image from video shows a building at the Syrian government checkpoint on fire in Dael, Syria, March 28, 2013.
  • A Syrian man drives through Aleppo, March 28, 2013.
  • Debris and blood are seen after mortar bombs landed on the canteen of Damascus University's College of Architecture, March 28, 2013.
  • A Syrian doctor treats an injured man who was wounded at the open-air cafeteria at Damascus University in the central Baramkeh district, March 28, 2013.
  • A Syrian opposition fighter walks into a building during clashes with the Syrian army in Aleppo, March 27, 2013.
  • A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency shows destruction in the Baba Amr district of Homs, March 27, 2013.
  • A Syrian man pushes a cart past the road leading to Aleppo airport, March 28, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters carry the body of their comrade who died during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Qusair town near Homs, March 25, 2013.
  • Smoke rises after shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the old city of Homs March 22, 2013.

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Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
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Jerome Socolovsky
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