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Rebel Free Syrian Army claims control over most of Syria

Published on Sep 23, 2012 5:00 PM
Syrian rebels hold their position as they try to root out Syrian government forces in the Amariya neighbourhood of Aleppo on Sept 22, 2012.. Rebels have moved their command base from Turkey to "liberated areas" inside Syria, they announced as regime troops and rebels battled for control of a corridor near the border. -- PHOTO: AFP

ATMA, Syria (AFP) - The rebel Free Syrian Army said on Sunday it now controls most of the war-torn country, a day after announcing that it has moved its command centre from Turkey to "liberated areas" inside Syria.

United Nations (UN) chief Ban Ki Moon and UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held talks about Syria on Saturday, agreeing the crisis was "a steadily increasing threat to regional peace and stability," according to a statement.

Mr Brahimi, who was appointed in early September, is due to brief the UN Security Council on Monday about his first round of talks with both the regime, including President Bashar al-Assad, and opposition groups.

The international community's efforts to halt more than 18 months of bloodshed in Syria have so far failed to make any headway, and fighting persisted on the ground overnight and on Sunday morning. Regime forces shelled many rebel-held areas, including in and around Damascus, second city Aleppo in the north, neighbouring Idlib, the central cities of Hama and Homs, and Daraa in the south, a watchdog said.

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