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Syrian rebels capture air base near Damascus

  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

    In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

  • This citizen journalist image made from video provided by Shaam News Network which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels celebrating the takeover of Mayadeen military base near Deir el-Zour, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012.  Syrian rebels strengthened their hold in an oil-rich strategic province bordering Iraq, capturing a key military base that was considered the last bastion for regime forces in the area. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

    This citizen journalist image made from video provided by Shaam News Network which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels celebrating the takeover of Mayadeen military base near Deir el-Zour, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. Syrian rebels strengthened their hold in an oil-rich strategic province bordering Iraq, capturing a key military base that was considered the last bastion for regime forces in the area. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)

  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

    In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

    In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)
  • This citizen journalist image made from video provided by Shaam News Network which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels celebrating the takeover of Mayadeen military base near Deir el-Zour, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012.  Syrian rebels strengthened their hold in an oil-rich strategic province bordering Iraq, capturing a key military base that was considered the last bastion for regime forces in the area. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video)
  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)
  • In this image taken from video obtained from the Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrian rebels capture a helicopter air base near the capital Damascus after fierce fighting in Syria, on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned by Assad’s forces, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

Syrian rebels captured a helicopter base just outside Damascus yesterday in what an activist called a “blow to the morale of the regime” near President Bashar Assad’s seat of power, while the bombardment of a village near the capital killed at least eight children.

Activists said the children were killed when Syrian warplanes bombed the village of Deir al-Asafir just outside the Damascus. The village is close to suburbs of the capital that has been witnessing clashes, shelling and air raids between troops and rebels in past months.

The Britain-based Syrian observatory for Human Rights said the bombardment of the village killed eight children. Another activist group, the Revolution Command Council said 10 children were killed when warplanes struck the village as they played outdoors.

An amateur video showed two girls lying dead in a street while the bodies of two bloodied dead boys were in the back seat of a car nearby. Several other wounded children were seen rushed for treatment.

Another video showed the bodies of two dead boys inside what appeared to be a makeshift hospital as others received treatment from injuries while lying on the floor.

The activist videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting about the events depicted. Syria restricts the access of reporters.

The air base takeover claim showed how rebels are advancing in the area of the capital, though they are badly outgunned, making inroads where Assad’s power was once unchallenged. Rebels have also been able to fire mortar rounds into Damascus recently.

The director of the Observatory, Rami Abdul-Rahman, said rebels seized control of the Marj al-Sultan base on the outskirts of Damascus yesterday morning.

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