Syrian rebel chief: Fighters 'will not give up'

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BRUSSELS — The chief of Syria’s main, Western-backed rebel group marked the second anniversary of the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad today by pledging to fight until the “criminal” regime is gone.

Gen. Salim Idris, the head of the Supreme Military Council, called on Syrian soldiers to join the rebels in a “fight for freedom and democracy,” and said: “Dear friends, the Free Syrian Army (fighters) will not give up.”

In Damascus, authorities beefed up security measures as rebel groups called for stepped-up attacks on government troops and state institutions.

Rebels battled regime forces in several smaller army bases and weapons depots around Aleppo today, seizing some ammunition in an army depot near a village of Khan Touman, southwest of the city, according to activist groups.

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