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Syrian rebels, government fight over key highways

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BEIRUT — Syrian rebels on Saturday cut a newly built bypass road linking the capital Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, an activist group said, while state media reported that government troops have secured a strategic highway between the capital and the southern city of Daraa.

The reported fighting came as an activist group said the US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who left the country last year, met with a rebel commander at a border crossing point with Turkey.

The Aleppo Media Center said Ford met on Thursday with Colonel Abdul-Jabbar al-Akidi, head of Aleppo province’s rebel military council at the Bab al-Salama border crossing point. It posted a picture and a video of the two men standing on a road outside a fence.

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