Officials: Arms shipments rise to Syrian rebels

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012 file photo, Syrian rebel fighter Tawfiq Hassan, 23, a former butcher, poses for a picture, after returning from fighting against Syrian army forces in Aleppo, at a rebel headquarters in Marea on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syria. America's Arab allies have dramatically stepped up weapon supplies to Syrian rebels in preparation for a push on the capital Damascus, the main stronghold of President Bashar Assad, officials and Western military experts say, with one official saying airlifts to neighboring Jordan and Turkey have doubled the past month. The U.S. and other Western governments are involved to channel the flow toward more secular fighters, they say. The influx appears to be boosting a rebel drive to seize supply routes from the border with Jordan to Damascus. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Mideast powers opposed to President Bashar Assad have dramatically stepped up weapons supplies to Syrian rebels in coordination with the U.S. in preparation for a push on the capital of Damascus, officials and Western military experts said Wednesday.


Rebels seize air defense base in southern Syria

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, mourners carry the body of Sheik Mohammad Said Ramadan al-Buti, an 84-year-old pro-government cleric during his funeral in the eighth century Omayyad Mosque, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, March 23, 2013. Al-Buti, his grandson and scores of others were killed Thursday, March 21, 2013 when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside a mosque where al-Buti was giving a religious lesson. His assassination was a blow to Assad, who vowed Friday to avenge his death. (AP Photo/SANA)BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels on Saturday seized a major air defense base in a strategic region in the south near the Jordanian border, the latest battlefield triumph for fighters seeking to topple President Bashar Assad, activists said.


Syrian rebel chief: ‘We will not give up’

A Syrian fuel tanker which was set on fire late Thursday by anti-Syrian regime protesters, lies in ruins in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Friday March 15, 2013. Gunmen set fire to three fuel tankers with Syrian license plates to prevent them from crossing into Syria, the state-run National News Agency said. Protesters claim diesel exported to Syria is being used by regime tanks. (AP Photo)BRUSSELS (AP) — The chief of Syria's main, Western-backed rebel group marked the second anniversary of the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad on Friday by pledging to fight until the "criminal" regime is gone.