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Syrian rebels have taken full control of a sprawling military base that they stormed two days ago in the country's north, killing at least 35 government troops in the fighting, anti-government activists say, aljazeera reported.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the battle for Sheik Suleiman base, near the city of Aleppo, ended on Tuesday after rebels took over the main compound and warehouses at the site.

The rebels first entered the base on Sunday afternoon, after weeks of fighting with soldiers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.


Defence Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday repeated the US government's warning that the Syrian regime must refrain from using chemical weapons in an increasingly desperate fight against rebels, dpa reported.

"There will be consequences if the Assad regime makes a terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons on their own people," Panetta said. "I'm not going to speculate or comment on what those potential consequences would be, but I think it's fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line for us."


Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the special envoy the UN and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi on Thursday held a meeting in Dublin where adjusted their positions as regards the situation in Syria, Brahimi told reporters after the completion of the talks.


Syrian government troops launched Friday a counter- attack against rebels who have been inching closer toward Damascus, activists said, dpa reported.

"Syrian troops backed by tanks started in the early hours of Friday pounding rebel-held areas on the outskirts of Damascus," Haytham al-Abdullah, a Syrian activist based in the capital, told dpa.

He added that the offensive targeted mainly the suburban towns of Daraya and Maazamiyet al-Sham.


The Syrian Air Force is bombing positions of the Free Syrian Army on the border areas with Turkey, the Turkish news agency Cihan said on Monday.

According to the agency, the bombing started at 10:30 a.m. local time today and is still in process.

No information about any victims has yet been received.

The Syrian army periodically bombs the border areas of Turkey.

Anti-government protests have continued in Syria for a year and half. According to UN, the total number of victims of the conflict in Syria is nearing 30.000.


A UN General Assembly committee condemned Syria, Iran and North Korea for human rights violations in votes criticized by all three countries, DPA reported.

The Syria resolution approved Tuesday blamed Syria's government for "widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms," accusing it of massacres, extrajudicial killings and the targeting of civilians.

It called on the government to halt the abuses and attacks on civilians. The resolution, which passed in a 132-12 vote, also condemned "any human rights abuses by armed opposition groups."


Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that there will be another meeting held with the Syrian opposition, IRIB News reported.

He noted that more information on the groups, and also time and place of the joint dialogue will be publicized in the near future.

The 2-day national dialogue on Syria meeting wrapped up in Tehran on Nov. 19, with some 40 active Syrian political parties and a total of 130 personalities from Syria attending. Iran has put forward its own suggestions regarding the situation in the neigboring country.


Turkey will take decisive steps against Damascus if the Syrian army violates its border, TRT Haber TV channel quotes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying on Tuesday.

Erdogan said that Ankara will answer in the most rigorous way to the border violations by the Syrian army, therefore it would be better for Damascus not to test Turkey's patience.


Arab League and European Union foreign ministers pledged on Tuesday to support the Syrian opposition and welcomed recent steps to unite the various groups under a new, united banner, in order to facilitate a solution to the 20-month conflict, dpa reported.

"The ministers welcomed the formation of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces. They called on all opposition groups to adhere to the national coalition and on the national coalition to engage with all sections of Syrian society," said a statement issued at the close of the meeting held in Cairo.


Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says Tehran is to host a meeting between Syrian government and opposition groups next week, PressTV reported.

The meeting will bring together representatives of various Syrian ethnicities, political groups, minorities, the opposition, and the state officials, Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister added that the one-day meeting will be held with the main theme of "No to Violence, Yes to Democracy."