1. Middle East

    Syrian Rebels Take Border Posts

    Members of Jihadist group Hamza Abdualmuttalib train near Aleppo on July 19, 2012. Rebels seized control of all of Syria's border crossings with Iraq on July 19, dealing a new blow to President Bashar al-Assad, as China and Russia dismayed the West by blocking UN action against his regime. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC        (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/GettyImages)

    Bulent Kilic / AFP-Getty Images

    Syrian rebels took control of all four border crossings into Iraq and one into Turkey on Thursday. Rebel forces also claimed to have taken over a pocket of Damascus. Many residents were warned to evacuate a portion of the capital after the armed forces warned of an assault. The developments came a day after rebels assassinated three of President Bashar al-Assad’s top security officials. Assad swore in a new defense minister on Thursday, in his first television appearance since Wednesday’s assassinations. Various reports indicated that the president had fled to the coastal city of Latakia, but one opposition activist said that only the Assad family’s women and children had left the capital.

    Read it at The New York Times