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GAINING GROUND Syrian Rebels Shell Aleppo Airport Ahmad Gharabli, AFP / Getty Images

Syrian Rebels Shell Aleppo Airport

Syrian rebels have all but seized an airport in Aleppo on Thursday after a weeklong battle for the country’s commercial capital, shelling the military airbase with captured heavy weapons and a goverment tank. Meanwhile, in the capital Damascus, troops reportedly executed at least 35 people, most of whom were unarmed civilians, according to residents and activist organizations. Sources told Reuters that President Obama issued a secret order earlier this year allowing the CIA to aid rebels in their fight to oust President Bashar al-Assad, though the U.S. government would not arm the opposition.

August 2, 2012 10:31 AM