Middle East

Syrian troops take town on refugee flight route

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees sit on the road after crossing the border from Syria into Jordan, near the town of Ramtha, on September 5, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/KHALIL MAZRAAWI)

BEIRUT: Activists say Syrian troops have recaptured from rebels a town on the border with Jordan used as a transit point by refugees fleeing the country's civil war.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local activist Mohammed Abu Houran say hundreds of Syrian soldiers backed by 20 tanks assaulted Tel Chehab on Thursday morning. Rebels fought back but were pushed out.

Abu Houran says about 2,000 refugees were in Tel Chehab when it was captured.

Syrian rebels, who claim to hold over half of Syria, have been in control of Tel Chehab for months. Abu Houran said it had faced repeated government assaults in the past.

More than 160,000 Syrian refugees are now in Jordan. Syria's 18-month crisis has killed more than 23,000 people, activists say.





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