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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Syrian Rebels Say Fighting Govt. Forces to Control Airbase

RIA Novosti

06:14 04/11/2012 MOSCOW, November 4 (RIA Novosti) - Rebels in Syria said they were involved in a fierce fight against government forces to gain control of a key airbase in the country’s north, which is located between the city of Aleppo and the capital Damascus, world media reported.

The BBC said on Saturday an internet video showed militants attack Taftanaz base, which is of strategic importance, a day before a crucial opposition meeting is to be held in Doha, Qatar.

Five units of rebel fighters reportedly opened fire on Taftanaz with rocket launchers and mortars at dawn.

Syrian state-run news agency SANA confirmed that attack took place but said government troops repelled it, killing "large numbers of terrorists" and destroying their vehicles “equipped with machineguns.”

London-based activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said one opposition militant was killed in the attack, the CNN reported.

Meanwhile, Syrian Army tanks entered the demilitarized Golan Heights buffer zone on the border with Israel on Saturday for the first time in 40 years, prompting Israel to send an official protest to UN observers.

The Syrian conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, according to various Syrian opposition groups. The UN puts the death toll at 20,000-30,000 people.

The West is pushing for President Bashar Assad’s ouster while Russia and China are trying to prevent outside interference in Syria, saying that the Assad regime and the opposition are both to blame for the bloodshed. Veto-wielding Moscow and Beijing have three times blocked sanctions resolutions on Syria.

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