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.
Both Moscow and Kiev have accused the other of shooting across the border, and Ukraine says missiles shot from Russia may have downed two of its fighter jets this week
"The federal government has requisitioned the services of the Pakistan army in aid of civil power in Islamabad," the prime minister's office said
Clashes were also reported in Jerusalem after Israeli authorities barred Muslims from performing Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Police said the bomb was left in a vehicle about 50 metres from a hotel in the town of Betong, which is popular with tourists from nearby Malaysia
At least 3 hae been confirmed dead, 10 rescued and 8 missing after an overloaded vessel carrying illegal Indonesian workers capsized.
Israeli air force dropped about 3,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip in the first 15 days of the conflict, including 120 tons in the border town of Shejaia alone
Banned substances include gasoline and firecrackers, but also drinking water, cooking oil and yogurt.
Abbott said that Russian-backed rebels who control the area were tampering with evidence on "an industrial scale" and argued that outside police or possibly military forces were needed to ensure that did not continue.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said leaders should show flexibility so that political deadlocks could be broken and Iraq could confront militants.
State media said "millions" of people joined the rallies nationwide, which were called to mark Iran's annual day of solidarity with Palestinians.
At least three women and a three-year-old child were among those killed.
Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades was enraged when Turkish Cypriot president Dervis Eroglu refused to accept certain proposed terms, raising his voice, slamming his fist and throwing his glasses across the room in anger.
Jordanian government spokesman said the "aerial target was shot after being intercepted" when it violated Jordanian air space near the northern border city of Mafraq.
U.N. health agency said that four hospitals, including al Aqsa hospital in the coastal strip, had been damaged in the conflict that began on July 8 when Israel launched air strikes
Yatseniuk, Ukraine's point man for the West during much of the turmoil in the country since November, tendered his resignation on Thursday, saying parliament was betraying its people's demands
Brazil called the escalation of violence "unacceptable" and recalled its ambassador for consultations.