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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Syrian President Bashar Assad'S Army
Syrian President Bashar Assad's army and its Lebanese Hezbollah allies seized control of a strategic town near the border with Lebanon on Wednesday, dealing a significant blow to the rebels and raising alarm that it now could unleash reprisals against civilians.
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.
Syria's downing of a Turkish fighter-bomber has the feel of a turning point that could drag Western powers into a conflict that is spiraling out of control.