Syrian rebels claim seizure of major dam in north (VIDEO)


Armed rebel fighters gather close to the front line as they battle pro-government Syrian troops in the Salaheddin district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on October 30, 2012. Syrian rebels said they have begun arming Palestinians to fight a pro-Assad faction of Palestinians in Damascus.



Syrian rebels captured a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates River in northern Syria on Monday, according to activists.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel fighters captured Tishrin Dam, near the town of Manbij, which generates 630 megawatts of power. The Observatory's director, Rami Abdul-Rahman, said the dam supplies several parts of Syria with electricity, according to the Associated Press.

"This is a major blow to the regime," said Abdul-Rahman.

The New York Times noted the news of the success came fresh on the heels of news that the rebels had seized an important military airport and an air base, marking a string of tactical successes for the Syrian rebels in the past month.

Meanwhile, Syrian war planes attacked a rebel headquarters near the Turkish border on Monday, according to Reuters.

"The (Free Syrian Army) joint command is located in a school. It seems they have missed it. There were two jets - one of them looked like a reconnaissance aircraft. They had been flying over the area for an hour," said opposition activist Mohammad Abdallah.

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Turkey requested that NATO surface-to-air Patriot missiles be installed on its side of the border, Reuters reported. Turkey said on Monday that the missiles would only be used to protect its territory, not to establish a no-fly zone.

Arabic and Turkish media also reported on Monday that thousands of Syrians continued to head toward Turkey after the government air force attacked populated areas near the border, according to Bloomberg.

Al Arabiya television reported that Turkish anti-aircraft gunners retaliated when Syrian war planes struck a refugee camp.

By the Observatory's count, more than 40,000 people have died in the Syrian civil war since it began 20 months ago.

More on GlobalPost: Syrian rebels claim capture of air base near Damascus

The following YouTube video supposedly shows rebels roaming the hydroelectric dam, though its authenticity could not be verified: