Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris Men's Fall/Winter 2015, freedom of speech triumphs

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2015: Businesses 'cautiously optimistic' in Japan

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Twitter storm as IMF boss Christine Lagarde hails Saudi King Abdullah as 'strong advocate of women'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR CONGO: Senate amends controversial constitutional law

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Pope Family Planning: Heated Debate over Pontiff's 'Rabbit' Comments (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Saudi King Abdullah Dies: Succession, Stability and Youth in Question (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France tackles terror

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider Electric: 'France is on a better track'

Read more

DEBATE

Davos debate: Can big business agree on climate deal? (part 2)

Read more

Middle east

Syrian rebels overrun northern city of Raqa

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-03-05

Syrian rebels took "near total control" of Raqa on Monday after days of fierce fighting, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The northern city is strategically located on the Euphrates river near the Turkish border.

Syrian rebels battling troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad overran Raqa on Monday after days of fierce fighting, and were now in  "near-total control" of the northern city, a watchdog reported.

"This is the first provincial capital in Syria where rebels have made such progress. They now have near-total control of Raqa city, except for some regime positions, including the military security and Baath party headquarters," Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.

According to the Observatory, Al-Nusra Front jihadists fought alongside other rebel groups in the battle for the northern city, strategically located on the Euphrates river near the Turkish border.

In Raqa, residents destroyed a statue of Assad’s father and predecessor Hafez, according to amateur video footage distributed by activists.

The Observatory reported that a police chief was killed and two senior security officials captured by the rebels.

"Rebels took the state security chief to Turkey," Abdel Rahman said, noting that the road linking Raqa to Turkey, including the border crossing at Tal al-Abyad, was under rebel control.

Raqa was once home to 240,000 residents, but some 800,000 people forced to flee violence in other parts of Syria have sought shelter there ever since the start of the conflict.

In recent weeks, rebel fighters cut off all the army’s supply routes leading to the city and escalated their attacks on checkpoints and other regime positions.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-03-04

COMMENT(S)