More than 100 countries on Wednesday recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition, further isolating the regime and opening the way for greater humanitarian assistance to the forces battling President Bashar Assad.
Before the civil war, Ramiz Moussa was a middle class civil servant who processed fines for littering, illegal construction and disturbing the peace in Aleppo, Syria's largest city.
Syrian rebels have taken over a large military base in the country's north, carting off tanks, armored vehicles and truck-loads of munitions their leaders say will give them a boost in their fight to topple President Bashar Assad.
The Israeli defense minister says "almost all" Syrian villages near the frontier with Israel have fallen into rebel hands.
An Israeli tank struck a Syrian army vehicle Monday after a mortar shell landed on Israeli-held territory, the military said, in the first direct confrontation between the countries since the Syrian uprising broke out, sharpening fears that Israel could be drawn into the civil war next door.
Israel was drawn into the fighting in neighboring Syria for the first time Sunday, firing warning shots across the border after an errant mortar shell landed near an Israeli military installation in the Golan Heights.
The Syrian army promised to observe a four-day cease-fire for a Muslim holiday starting Friday, while rebels claimed to have taken control of new areas in the key battleground of Aleppo.
Syria's protracted civil war is spilling across its borders, creating breeding grounds for extremists, sharpening sectarian schisms and threatening to destabilize U.S. allies in the Middle East.
It was long past midnight, but the rebel commander couldn't sleep until his fighters returned from the Turkish border with the latest shipment of gear to help them battle the Syrian army.