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Syrian forces strike back after rebels make gains

Syrian forces strike back after rebels make gains
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Syrian government forces have been pounding the capital Damascus, in an apparent attempt to reverse gains made by rebel fighters.

The bombardment came as opponents boasted that president Bashar al-Assad was losing his grip on power.

The 16-month conflict took a dramatic turn on Wednesday, when a bomb killed members of Assad’s inner circle of power.

Since then, rebels have pushed deep into the heart of Damascus, seized control of other towns and captured three border crossings with Iraq and Turkey.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has voted unanimously to extend a monitoring mission in Syria for a “final” 30 days.

It could be given longer though if the fighting eases up.

The observers were sent in to oversee a ceasefire, that never took hold.

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