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Battalion commander reportedly gives soldiers choice to go home or join the rebellion, forces choose the latter
yrian rebels took control of a Syrian air force base near the city of Homs Sunday, according to a report in Al-Arabiya.
The fighters gained control of a number of surface-to-air missile batteries, giving them an extra edge as they battle forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
According to the report, officers and soldiers at the base defected and joined rebel forces. The base’s battalion commander had asked the soldiers to choose between joining the rebellion or going home.
The northern region around the city of Homs, a rebel stronghold, has seen some of the fiercest fighting in the 15-month uprising. Some 38 people were killed in the area Sunday amid intense shelling Sunday, and opposition groups reported seeing drones flying over the city
Syrian rebels' arsenal includes remote-controlled truck bombs
KAFER ZAITA, Syria - Late in the afternoon on the second day of the intense fighting that raged in Kafer Zaita for much of last week, a massive explosion rocked the small northern town. "Abdullah," who commands a small unit of rebel fighters, smiled. "I was waiting for that," he said. "We just sent them a little gift."
"They" were the army forces who for two days had been attempting to break out of their stronghold in the center of the town, and the "gift" was a truck laden with what the rebels said was 660 pounds of a homemade explosive. The bomb tore a hole in the fortress wall and left a 4-foot-deep crater in the pavement.
Unlike the car bombs that U.S. troops came to fear during the Iraq war, this vehicle wasn't driven by a young fanatic set on martyrdom. In fact, it wasn't really driven at all. Rather, it was piloted - by remote control. Its pilot remained safely concealed in a nearby house as he steered the truck around a corner, then accelerated it into the stronghold wall