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Syria: Rebels claim border victory as al Qaeda reports emerge


Syria

Syria: Rebels claim border victory as al Qaeda reports emerge

Syrian rebels have claimed control of a third border crossing with Turkey.

But as amateur video looked to show them celebrating their capture of the Bab al-Salam crossing, reports emerged that al Qaeda militants may increasingly be joining their ranks.

More amateur footage, purportedly taken at Bab al-Hawa – another rebel-held crossing on Syria’s border with Turkey – is said to show extremists. Reports from there speak of around 150 armed Islamists, claiming to come from places like Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Chechnya.

Tens of thousands of refugees are streaming out of Syria as the conflict escalates, with more fighting reported in Damasus and in Aleppo in the north.

Among those fleeing are Iraqis, who sought shelter in Syria as violence raged in their homeland. Now they judge it safer to retrace their steps. The government in Baghdad has urged nationals to return, despite a still perilous security situation on the Iraqi side of the border.

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