Syrian rebel force reported Tuesday that they have captured parts of the Sheikh Suleiman military base near Aleppo.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that opposition forces have been able to take the base after a near three-month siege.
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The Sheikh Suleiman base is a key facility for Syrian President Bashar Assad. Its loss to the rebels indicates that the opposition now has a stronger grip on northern areas near the Turkish border.
Meanwhile, the Syrian military carried out an air strike on suburbs of Damascus, amid fierce clashed between Assad's forces and the rebels.
Also on Tuesday, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said that the number of Syrian refugees is now upwards of 500,000.
"According to UNHCR's latest figures for Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and North Africa, 509,559 Syrians are either already registered (425,160) or in the process of being registered," the Geneva-based UNHCR said.
The number of registered Syrian refugees region-wide rose by about 3,200 per day in November, and close to 1,000 Syrians crossed into Jordan during the past two nights alone, the report said.
Lebanon is now host to 154,387 registered Syrian refugees who have fled the 20-month-old conflict. Jordan has 142,664, Turkey 136,319, Iraq 65,449 and North Africa 11,740, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.
UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said that "In addition to those already registered or awaiting registration, most of these neighboring countries and North Africa also have large numbers of Syrians who have yet to come forward and seek help."
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