Syrian rebels take control over third border crossing
After a night of fierce fighting, the border crossing at Tell al-Abyad fell into the hands of the Syrian rebels. This is the third crossing, which came under the control of the Free Syrian Army, on the edge of the Syrian Kurdish region, where the forces of President Bashar al-Assad have been completely removed since the end of July. Turkish television showed images of a rebel tearing and ripping a Syrian flag on what looks like a customs building at Tell al-Abyad. "I can confirm that the crossing is under the total control of the rebels," said a Turkish official who requested anonymity.
As with the battle of the border post of Bab el-Salama, earlier in the summer, the fighting spilled over last night into the Turkish territory, injuring three people, including a child. For this reason, the Turkish authorities early Wednesday ordered an exceptional leave to schools near the border, some of which were affected, too, by stray bullets during the clashes.
Meanwhile, the regime forces bombed Wednesday several areas in Syria, including Aleppo. The majority of the victims during the "blind" attacks by the army are civilians, including many children, Amnesty International denounced in a statement. "In recent weeks, in areas where opposition forces have pushed the government forces, there is indiscriminate shelling on the lost territories with disastrous consequences for the civilian population," said Donatella Rovera, senior adviser to Amnesty International who recently visited northern Syria.
"Attacks near hospital shortly after a large influx of wounded, or queues of people buying bread, suggest that such attacks deliberately targeting large gatherings of civilians," the statement conveyed.
In Damascus, after two months of violent clashes with loyalist forces, accompanied by heavy bombing, rebel fighters announced their "withdrawal" from Hajar al-Aswad and Assali neighborhoods. On its part, al-Watan daily, which is close to the regime, reported on Wednesday in its headlines: "Damascus is secure", "army destroys terrorists in Aleppo."
On Tuesday, the violence had killed 173 people.