Syrian rebels seize control of a border crossing
AKCAKALE, Turkey: Rebels seized control of a border crossing on the frontier with Turkey on Wednesday, pulling down the Syrian flag and sending a stream of jubilant people pouring across the border into Turkey. An Associated Press reporter at the scene Wednesday said people were moving freely across the Tal Abyad crossing, crawling under barbed wire. Some appeared to be wounded.
Syria’s rebels control several other border crossings into Turkey but Wednesday’s capture of the Tal Abyad post is believed to be the first time they have taken the border area in the northern province of Raqqa.
Taking control of border crossings helps the opposition ferry supplies into Syria and carve out an area of control, which is key as the rebels try to tip the balance in the civil war.
Wednesday’s takeover comes after a day of fierce clashes as rebels and regime forces fought for control of the Tal Abyad crossing. Turkey’s private Dogan news agency said earlier Wednesday that the rebels surrounded the customs building and engaged in an intense fire fight with Syrian sharp-shooters positioned at the building. Several people were wounded in the battles and were taken to Turkey for treatment, the report said.
Civilians escaping the violence reported that several people were killed in fighting around Tal Abyad, Dogan reported.
Posted by: Steve White