Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad carry their weapons as they walk in the town of Helfaya, Hama September 12, 2014. (REUTERS/George Ourfalian)
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Government forces have captured a central Syrian town that has changed hands several times during the civil war, the military and activists said Friday.Abdel-Rahman and a Hama-based activist who goes by the name of Yazan Shahdawi said the army offensive was commanded by one of Syria's best-known officers, Col. Suheil al-Hassan, who is also known as "The Tiger".Hassan is said to be one of Assad's favorite soldiers. In May he led a force that was able to lift a monthslong siege imposed by rebels on the central prison of the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and onetime commercial center. Last year, his forces captured the strategic town of Khanaser between central regions and Aleppo.
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