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Iraq confirms that Syrian rebels are controlling their border checkpoints

Meanwhile, inside Syria, opposition activists claim dozens of casualties after rebels attack Damascus police headquarters.

Turkey syria border Enlarge
Syrian refugees in Turkey watch the border from Oncupinar Refugee Camp on April 9, 2012. (IHA/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian rebels have taken control of all four border posts between Iraq and Syria, Iraqi government officials have confirmed to The New York Times. The Times reports that border crossings in Anbar and Nineveh Provinces have closed, while two battalions of additional Iraqi forces as well as special forces have been sent to secure areas near the Syrian border.

"All the border points between Iraq and Syria are under the control of the Free Syrian Army," Adnan al-Assadi, Baghdad's deputy interior minister, told AFP.

Assadi also told AFP that Iraqi border guards had witnessed the FSA take control of an outpost and kill 22 Syrian soldiers, though the killings could not be independently verified.

Reuters reports that two major border crossings between Syria and Turkey are also under control of the FSA.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that rebels have attacked the Damascus police headquarters, leaving dozens dead or wounded, according to opposition activists. Accounts of the details of the attack have varied. Independent reporting inside Syria has become difficult since authorities banned most independent journalists, Reuters said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/120719/iraq-confirms-syrian-rebels-are-controlling-their-bor