Syria rebels retreat after seizing area near capital

By REUTERS
January 22, 2012 01:15

 
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BEIRUT - Syrian rebels seized parts of the town of Douma near the capital Damascus on Saturday and then withdrew to their hideouts, activists said.

Night-time gunbattles and explosions rocked Douma, 14 kilometres (9 miles) northwest of the capital, activists said. Douma has been a center of protests in the 10-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighters retreated to their hideouts once they had pushed state forces outside of Douma.

"It seems they chose not to hold on to the territory, most likely because it could offer the regime an excuse to storm the area," Rami Abdelrahman told Reuters.

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