Activist: Syrian Rebels Take Control of Key City of Raqqa After Heavy Fighting With Government Forces

by Colonel on March 4, 2013

“Rebel videos uploaded on the Internet showed activists smashing a statue of President Assad’s father, Hafez, in the central square to punctuate their victory.

If the insurgents manage to retain control of Raqqa it would be a potentially important turn in the conflict. Raqqa, a strategic city on the Euphrates River, would be the first provincial capital completely taken over by the armed resistance. For the government, the loss of Raqqa would diminish the prospects that Mr. Assad’s military, now fighting on a number of fronts, could retake large areas of northern and eastern Syria from the rebels.

The Local Coordination Committees, a network of anti-Assad activists in Syria, said the governor’s palace in Raqqa had been seized by insurgents. …

“The only place still under control of the regime, in the entire province of Raqqa, is the military security building,” the activist said.

” — Duraid Adnan and Rick Gladstone, Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

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