Syrian rebels on the rise – the ceasefire negotiations are at a standstill, Bashar Assad's position seems steady as a rock – but rebels keep reporting victories on the battlefield, some not far from the Israeli border. According to latest reports, rebels have occupied a key position on the Syrian Hermon area.
On Wednesday the Al-Jazeera network reported that rebels announced they gained control over Syria's highest summit, called Tala Harabon. The rebels also said they now occupy the nearby village Durbal.
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Conversely, the al-Arabiya network reported that the Free Syria Army, the main rebel militant group, was forced to retreat from the area following a Syrian air force bombing and bombardment by Assad's artillery forces. According to the report, the rebels managed to take stockpiles of ammunition, heavy weaponry and machine guns before their retreat.
Rebels at Hermon
Turkey jacks 1,200 missile deliveryOn Thursday, Syrian television reported that Assad's forces retook the town of a-Sabina on the suburbs of Damascus, a town used as a main artery for the rebels positioned on Damascus' southern neighborhoods.
Sky network in Arabic claimed the regime's forces were aided in the battle by Hezbollah combatants.
Another development on the Hermon front is a press release by the Lebanese party Arab Tawhid, led by Druze politician, Wiam Wahhab. According to the press release, several of Wihab's men, who is considered an ally of Assad in Lebanon, were killed in the Hermon battles opposite the rebels.
The statement was later denied, but should it prove true, it means Assad will have another ally in the fray.
At the same time, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country does not offer asylum to Syrians affiliated with al-Qaeda: "Groups such as a-Nusra and al-Qaeda do not use Turkey as a safe haven. On the contrary, we take measures against them."
Earlier it was reported that Turkey confiscated a truck carrying 1,200 missiles and other arms near the Syrian border and detained nine persons.
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