An activist takes photos of a damaged school after a Syrian Air Force fighter jet fired missiles at Maraa. - Reuters
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is moving into Syria from neighbouring Turkey in a concerted movement against President Bashar al-Assad.
The move by the FSA command is bound to further escalate the armed conflict with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. They are likely to be stationed in the rebels' stronghold in Aleppo neighbourhoods or Idlib province, although the exact location has not been revealed.
"The leadership of the FSA has entered the liberated areas (of Syria) after the success of the plan that the FSA has worked on with other battalions and units in order to safeguard the free areas," FSA leader Colonel Riad al-Asaad said in a video statement.
The FSA chief did not reveal when the move began, but reports suggest it was a few days ago, in coordination with other rebel groups. Relocating the rebel forces may take several weeks.
Colonel Asaad said the next target is to capture the capital city of Damascus and denied that the FSA would seize power if President Assad were toppled.
The leaders were in Turkey over most of the 18-month-long uprising due to safety issues.
The move is bound to force President Assad's troops to step up air strikes and artillery attacks in the region.
The rebels hope that shifting their base closer to the action will help them fight more effectively against the regime.
The announcement comes in wake of a national meeting of opposition groups in Damascus sanctioned by President Assad, which the FSA dismissed as an eyewash by the regime.
The FSA is playing a pivotal role in the Syrian uprising and has vowed to fight side-by-side with others in ousting the regime.
Amid these developments, fighting continued to rage in areas of Aleppo, where more than a dozen people were killed.
President Assad's forces continue to pound the rebels through air attacks and videos show the havoc left behind by the attacks. People are seen struggling to pull bodies from the debris.
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