Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Syrian rebels capture parts of army base in north

BEIRUT — Rebels captured part of a sprawling Syrian army base outside the embattled northern city of Aleppo, tightening the opposition’s grip on areas close to the Turkish border, activists said Monday.

The gains by rebel forces came as the European Union denounced the Syrian conflict, which activists say has killed more than 40,000 people.

“The current situation in Syria is a stain on the world’s conscience and the international community has a moral duty to address it,” European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said in Oslo as the EU received the Nobel Peace Prize.

The rebels also killed 13 soldiers in an ambush near a strategic northern town along a road linking Aleppo, the nation’s largest city and business hub, with Damascus, and captured 20 soldiers and policemen at a major post on the highway linking the central town of Salamiyeh with the northern city of Raqqa, activists said.

Once on the defensive, Syria’s rebels have gained momentum in recent weeks with a number of tactical advances, seizing airbases near Damascus and Aleppo and putting President Bashar Assad’s forces on their heels.

In an interview with Dubai TV, Syria’s top military defector said Assad’s regime is “over” and advised the president to leave office and let the country’s people decide their own fate.

Manaf Tlass, a Syrian general who was the first member of Assad’s inner circle to break ranks and join the opposition, said “we are at a turning point and the train of the revolution will be victorious.” Tlass, who defected in July, said he urged Assad to listen to the people’s demands and implement serious reforms.

“I used to talk to the president four times a day and I used to see him every other day. I tried to convince him to react with the rebels. He always avoided answering and used to say they are armed gangs,” Tlass said from Paris, where he has been spending much of his time.

“I told him tens of times, and sometimes in a loud voice that ‘you should be with your people’ and he did not answer,” Tlass said. “It’s over … I advise him to leave.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels entered the Sheik Suleiman military base outside Aleppo on Sunday afternoon, after weeks of fighting around the facility. Last month, they captured another base near the city, the Syrian army’s 46th Regiment base.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads to Observatory, said the rebels who stormed Sheik Suleiman belong to hardline Islamic militant groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, Mujahedeen Shura Council and the Muhajireen group.

The groups, which count both Syrians and foreigners in their ranks, are among the most effective fighters on the rebel side of the country’s civil war. But the West is wary of such groups, and the U.S. has designated the Jabhat al-Nusra group, which has alleged ties to al-Qaida, a terrorist organization.

The move, which blocks Jabhat al-Nusra’s assets in the U.S. and bars Americans from doing business with the group, hasn’t been announced officially but was included in the Federal Register on Monday. The department said the group was part of al-Qaida in Iraq.

In the fight for the Sheik Suleiman base, as the rebels seized key sectors of the facility, which is home to the 111th Regiment, including its command center, the Observatory said.

About 140 Syrian troops fled to another, nearby base as the rebels advanced, Abdul-Rahman said, adding that opposition fighters captured seven government troops and killed two soldiers in the fighting.

Amateur videos released by activists showed gunmen walking inside the base, carrying a militant black Islamic flag.

The footage also showed rebels driving around in a captured tank and manning heavy anti-aircraft machine guns. The activist videos appear genuine and correspond to AP’s reporting on the events depicted.

Fighting around Syria has intensified in the past few months. The uprising, which began with peaceful protests against Assad’s regime in March 2011, has escalated into a civil war.

“This is what we captured from Assad’s army,” a rebel says in the video, carrying an automatic rifle and a walkie-talkie and pointing to the heavy machine guns.

Abdul-Rahman said the rebels tried to storm Sheik Suleiman base two weeks ago but were pushed back by troops who killed nearly two dozen rebel fighters.

The Observatory also reported heavy fighting Monday on the southern edge of the strategic rebel-held town of Maaret al-Numan, captured from government troops in October. It said rebels ambushed an army unit, killing at least 13 soldiers.

The group said Syrian warplanes bombed the town after the death of the solders.

Mohammed Kanaan, an activist based in Maaret al-Numan, said rebels stormed army positions south of the town and killed many soldiers.

“The town is witnessing some of the worst clashes in weeks,” said Kanaan via Skype.

Maaret al-Numan is on the highway that links Damascus with Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial center that has been the scene of clashes between rebels and troops since July.

Abdul-Rahman said the rebels captured another major post on the highway linking Salamiyeh and Raqqa in what could be a major move to disrupt another route of supplies for the regime. It said nine troops were killed in Monday’s fighting.

An amateur video showed more than 15 men inside a room who identified themselves as troops who were posted on the highway in the Syrian desert near the town of Bukraya.

Activists also reported violence in other areas, including the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, central region of Homs as well as villages and towns near Damascus International Airport south of the capital.

A resident in Damascus, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal, told The AP that he was hearing cracks of gunfire and explosions inside and outside the capital early Monday.

The Observatory said troops clashed with rebels in the Damascus neighborhoods of Salhiyeh and Rukneddine north of the city in which three people were killed. It said the clashes were “the most intense in the neighborhoods since the revolution began.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Hop to it: Couple lights up home, yard for Easter

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

 
Bay Area makes growth plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

Supervisor candidates vary on Plan Bay Area

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Earth Day means cleanup Day for Suisun City

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

Ranking the best Bay Area athletes

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
The Edge hosts Easter egg hunt

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield author to speak at women’s expo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Piano scholarship competition set in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
The resurrection has changed the lives of Christians

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Armijo graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Understanding your health insurance

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: D4, 1 Comment

 
Record Store Day a commercial hit

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Easter egg hunt brings out the smiles

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. joins Fairfield coffee corridor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7, 7 Comments | Gallery

City sets plan to dispose of property assets

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Counties tell Brown they need money for his law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Exhibit recreates Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair mural

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Documents detail another delayed GM recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Costa Rican a celebrity after certified miracle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Neighborhood speeders don’t get it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

 
Why would a person do this?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Sound off for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Government … for the government?

By Bill James | From Page: A8, 9 Comments

 
 
Jeb Bush, love, and today’s GOP

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Book details lives of cloistered nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 10 Comments

Horoscopes for April 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
Pete spends weekends at my house but he never invites me to his

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

.

Entertainment

Tartt, Goodwin finalists for Carnegie medals

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

A’s score 3 in 9th, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stults, Padres hand Giants third straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raptors GM Ujiri uses profanity about Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federer beats injured Djokovic to reach final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Rapids, Earthquakes play to scoreless tie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Travis Bowl Highlights

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Jimenez leads Langer by 1 shot in Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians set two new school records for track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Award-winning archery champ shoots with his teeth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

US delays review of contentious Keystone pipeline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Subscription sample boxes shake up beauty routines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Girls from modest families get lift in technology

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Haunted house part of San Antonio apartment lofts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
Recalls this week: lanterns, exercise devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

Review: Siri-like Cortana fills Windows phone gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Obituaries

Ramon Isidro

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Rogelio Tinoco-Zamudio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

James Leroy Barbour

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
William Paul Wehrly

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Margaret Elizabeth Silva

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Lloyd G. Hoffmeister

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics