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November 2, 2013 9:00 am

Syria Rebels Gaining Strength in Damascus Suburbs

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Free Syrian Army rebels cleaning their AK47s in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: VOA News/WikiCommons.

WSJ – DAMASCUS, Syria—Islamist rebels, including some with links to al Qaeda, are fast gaining strength in suburbs encircling the Syrian capital, despite a chemical-weapons attack two months ago on one of their strongholds.

Since early September these groups have claimed responsibility for several suicide-bomb attacks against regime targets in and around Damascus. They have dramatically increased mortar and rocket attacks on regime-held residential neighborhoods within the capital and have raided nearby towns and villages inhabited by minorities, including Christians.

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