Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Encore’s Year in Music

Read more

FOCUS

Hebron, a city where peace seems impossible

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users criticize Sony for pulling "The Interview"

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Qatar Airways CEO: Traditional airlines 'inefficient'

Read more

BEYOND BUSINESS

Gastrodiplomacy: is French food losing its flair?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Viva La Evolucion! US and Cuba Move to Normalise Ties

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Creative Christmas confections

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to Cuba and the US normalizing relations

Read more

WEB NEWS

Connected toys are a must-have for Christmas

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)