Rebels push forward in southern Syria - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rebels push forward in southern Syria

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 Syrian rebels backed by the United States are making their biggest gains yet in an area south of the capital, Damascus.

   They've captured a string of towns from government forces. And they're hoping to carve out a piece of territory leading toward President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

   The advances appear to be a rare visible success story from efforts by the U.S. and its allies to train and arm moderate rebel fighters.

   The rebel forces are believed to include fighters who graduated from a nearly 2-year-old CIA training program based in Syria's southern neighbor Jordan.

   The gains are a contrast to northern Syria, where U.S.-backed rebels are collapsing in the face of an assault by Islamic militants.

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