Men inspect a site hit by what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the town of Azaz, north of Aleppo, near the border with Turkey May 5, 2014. (REUTERS/Mahmoud Hassano)
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The Obama administration gave approval Monday for the Syrian opposition to open a formal diplomatic mission in Washington, on the first day of a visit to the American capital by National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba.This boosts total U.S. assistance to $287 million since the conflict began three years ago.The State Department suspended the operations of the Syrian Embassy in Washington in March.A deal between the government and rebels for opposition fighters to leave the Old City of Homs will be implemented in the next 48 hours, the provincial governor said.Rebel fighters have said that the deal involves the freeing of 70 Lebanese and Iranian prisoners being held by the rebel Islamic Front alliance in the province of Aleppo, as well as the entry of aid to two Shiite pro-regime villages under rebel blockade in the same province.In the southern province of Deraa, the Nusra Front released a rebel commander who was detained one day earlier along with a controversial FSA leader, Ahmad Naameh, the Observatory said.
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