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Syrian rebels worry about losing grip on Homs

Syrian rebels worry about losing grip on Homs
Demonstrators take part in an angry protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after Friday prayers in Halab in Syria, February 24,2012. Syrian troops shelled the rebel stronghold in Homs for the 22nd straight day, after a pause allowed relief workers to evacuate some civilians, monitors said. UPI | License Photo

HOMS, Syria, March 13 (UPI) -- Rebel fighters in Syria say they are worried they are losing the battle, but will continue fighting.

In Homs, which has been dubbed "the capital of the revolution" in Syria, President Bashar Assad's forces have been advancing on rebel-held neighborhoods in the past 20 months, the (Beirut) Daily Star reported Thursday.

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"What we fear is the regime taking control of what remains of the besieged areas," said Thaer, 25, an activist and former jeweler from the Khaldieh neighborhood. "If that happens the revolution will end, and we will have to forget about our families returning to our neighborhoods. The regime will be able, without much difficulty, to take control of the rest of Syria."

Still, rebels are defending Homs, despite the city being largely destroyed three years after the uprising-turned-civil war started.

"The revolutionaries are not defending rubble, they are defending what Homs represents," said Abul-Hareth, a local sheik.

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