Syria: state forces advance towards Homs

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Syria: state forces advance towards Homs

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Following the capture of strategic town Qsair, Syrian Forces continue to push the Free Rebel Army east towards Homs and capital Damascus.

Occupying Qsair holds the key to controlling central Syria. Located close to the Lebanese border, vital trade and supply routes run through it, and state troops have capitalised on their on their position by moving east.

The advance towards Homs follows a string of recent successes for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Speaking to Syrian state television, an army officer described the capture of Deba, home to Qsair’s airport, saying: “Here in Deba we attacked the rebels, destroying their positions and equipment. They then fled eastward.”

Pictures from Syrian television show rescuers pull a man from the rubble of a destroyed building in the Damascus suburbs of Sbeneh, a rare moment of humanity in a conflict that has claimed around 80,000 lives.

Two French journalists are still missing in Syria. Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo, French President Francois Hollande has called for their immediate release saying: “They do not represent any state.”

Europe 1 reporter Didier Francois and photographer Edouard Elias had been heading for the northern city of Aleppo when they disappeared.

President Hollande confirmed that contact with the pair had been lost.