The Free Syrian Army moves central base back to Syria | News | DW | 22.09.2012
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The Free Syrian Army moves central base back to Syria

The main opposition forces fighting against President Assad's troops have relocated their central command back to Syria. Now, with one major hurdle behind them, they're setting their sights on retaking Damascus.

After months of intense fighting and chaos in Aleppo, which lies less than two hours from the Turkish border, opposition forces announced on Saturday that they had been able to move their stronghold back into Syria.

"The Free Syrian Army command has moved into liberated areas of Syria following arrangements made with battalions and brigades to secure these zones," Free Syrian Army chief Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad said in a video posted online.

The FSA was already thinking of how to "liberate" the capital city, Damascus, he added.

Saturday's announcement did not reveal where the FSA had set up its new base.

"The transfer will allow the command center to be closer to the fighters," the head of the military council of rebel chiefs, General Mustafa al-Sheikh, told the AFP news agency.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Turkey deployed military personnel and heavy weaponry to its border with Syria. The area has seen extreme fighting between rebel groups and government forces in recent days, according to local media.

Turkey's military reportedly sent three howitzers and one anti-aircraft weapon to the border region.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an advocate group based in Britain, has estimated that over 29,000 people have died in the violence, more than 20,000 of them civilians.

kms/jlw (AFP, Reuters, dapd, dpa)