Syrian rebels attack army checkpoints in south

Associated Press
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FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 file photo, a Syrian rebel checks an anti-aircraft weapon, in Maaret Misreen, near Idlib, Syria. America's Arab allies have dramatically stepped up weapon supplies to Syrian rebels in preparation for a push on the capital Damascus, the main stronghold of President Bashar Assad, officials and Western military experts say, with one official saying airlifts to neighboring Jordan and Turkey have doubled the past month. The U.S. and other Western governments are involved to channel the flow toward more secular fighters, they say. The influx appears to be boosting a rebel drive to seize supply routes from the border with Jordan to Damascus. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian rebels are attacking army checkpoints in and around a key southern town that is a gateway to Damascus.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebel attacks are under way in Dael and surrounding areas. The Local Coordination Committees, another activists group, says regime bombardment of Dael killed at least three people on Thursday.

Dael lies in the strategic Daraa province, which borders Jordan.

The fighting comes as Mideast powers opposed to President Bashar Assad have stepped up weapons supplies to Syrian rebels in coordination with the U.S. in preparation for a push on the Syrian capital.

That's according to officials and military experts who spoke to The Associated Press in Jordan.

The U.N. says Syria's two-year civil war has killed more than 70,000 people.