Syrian rebels step up attacks on strategic sites

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Associated Press

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 21 at 3:37 PM

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels are stepping up their attacks on strategic sites -- including a large military complex in the country's north.

Syria's 21-month-old conflict is showing no signs of ending soon, but observers say steady rebel advances appear to be tipping the balance in favor of those fighting to topple Bashar Assad's regime.

According to anti-regime activists, the rebels have been looking to cut government supply lines, free up roads and seize arms from government bases.

Syria's ally Russia, meanwhile, continues to back away from the Assad government. President Vladimir Putin told European leaders in Brussels today, "We aren't a defender of the current Syrian leadership." Instead, he says, Russia wants to see a "democratic regime" there, based on "the expression of people's will." And he says that's an outcome that can only come through negotiations.

%@AP Links

214-r-12-(Sound of Syrian rebels speaking Arabic, then the rattle of a makeshift weapon and an explosion, from video purportedly showing rebels using a small catapult to fire explosives at a pro-government checkpoint.)--Sound of two Syrian rebels speaking Arabic, then the rattle of their small catapult as they send a grenade toward a pro-government checkpoint. The sound of an explosion follows. COURTESY: Ugarit News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (Ugarit News is not a recognized news-gathering organization, but this material has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting.) (21 Dec 2012)

<<CUT *214 (12/21/12)>> 00:12

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