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The mountainous Haffa region is one of several areas where government forces are battling rebels for control in escalating violence. Recovering it is particularly important to the regime because the town is about 30 kilometers from President Bashar al-Assad's hometown of Kardaha in Latakia province. Latakia is the heartland of the Alawite minority to which Mr. al-Assad and the ruling elite belong, although there is a mix of religious groups there.
"There are arms being delivered, and on both sides," Fabius said.
Although the Syrian rebels are outgunned by the well-armed Syrian army,
weapons have been flowing across the country's borders from neighboring Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon.
The rebels also say they buy weapons from Syrian soldiers looking to make a profit.
Hardly any traffic today - what happened ? #Tripoli