National News

Dec 21, 2012 5:18 PM by Associated Press

Syrian rebels step up attacks on strategic sites

BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian rebels are stepping up their attacks on strategic sites -- including a large military complex in the country's north.

Syria's 21-month-old conflict is showing no signs of ending soon, but observers say steady rebel advances appear to be tipping the balance in favor of those fighting to topple Bashar Assad's regime.

According to anti-regime activists, the rebels have been looking to cut government supply lines, free up roads and seize arms from government bases.

Syria's ally Russia, meanwhile, continues to back away from the Assad government. President Vladimir Putin told European leaders in Brussels today, "We aren't a defender of the current Syrian leadership." Instead, he says, Russia wants to see a "democratic regime" there, based on "the expression of people's will." And he says that's an outcome that can only come through negotiations.

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