World Bulletin / News Desk
President Bashar al-Assad's forces evacuated two security installations at Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border on Tuesday as rebels made gains in the strategically important area after a week of heavy fighting, opposition sources said.
Security forces withdrew from the Airforce Intelligence and Political Security compounds in the town, 120 kms (75 miles) southeast of the city of Deir al-Zor, activists and a Free Syrian Army official said.
"The regime still has a Military Intelligence compound and Albu Kamal airport. It's a matter of time before the compound falls. The airport is more difficult," Abu Mahmoud, a rebel commander, said by satellite phone from the town.
Muhaimen al-Rumaid, military coordinator for the Syrian Rebel Front said that Albu Kamal had effectively fallen but that Assad's forces were still shelling the town from a border police base several kilometres (miles) away.
Rumaid said the border crossing with Iraq, which Iraqi authorities had closed from their side has been under rebel control for several weeks.
"Controlling Albu Kamal means curbing the regime's supply line from Iraq while improving the logistics of the rebels through an open connection to Iraqi tribes across the border," he said.
Like the rest of the eastern Deir al-Zor province, Albu Kamal is a Sunni Muslim town with family and clan connections to Iraq's Sunni heartland.
Decades long alliances between Syria's ruling elite, who belong to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, and the eastern tribes in Deir al-Zor began collapsing after Assad extended a military crackdown on the protest movement against his rule to the region.
The blast occurred at 10:30 pm local time (2030 GMT) inside or beside a ground floor shop on a major intersection, a police statement said Sunday.
Once the EU receives the list, it will take about 20 days to study the names of the proposed candidates and check them against available databases, one of the diplomats said.
Johnson said Thursday that Britain would invoke Article 50, the official procedure for quitting the European Union, within months of the new year.
Media reports said the Pentagon was seeking to send another 500 troops to Iraq ahead of the Mosul offensive
Iraqi FM reiterated his country's rejection of foreign interference in Yemen’s affairs
The soldier said he was caught up in a Boko Haram ambush and colleagues were killed. A bullet hit him in the leg and he hadn't seen combat since.
The vote is the brainchild of Milorad Dodik, nationalist leader of the Bosnian Serb-run entity Republika Srpska (RS).
Abe speaks with Castro brothers about North Korea’s weapons program, Japanese-Cuban trade and debt forgiveness
Arcan Cetin, 20, shot and killed four women, 1 man at Washington state mall
Videos from Charlotte police vague on whether black man killed by police was holding a gun
Use of 'indiscriminate weapons' in recent offensive in Aleppo may amount to war crimes, Secretary-General says
‘Our aim is to reach a political solution before 2016 ends,” Mustafa Akinci says meeting UN chief
China-funded railway set to slash Ethiopia’s export-import costs
More than 15,000 demonstrated against racism and fascism in Helsinki today
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed his deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, to be chairman of the new State Duma