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Pictures | Fri Feb 8, 2013 | 6:29pm EST

Assad's forces try to beat back rebels closing on Damascus

Smoke rises behind a car decorated with an Islamist flag in the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Smoke rises behind a car decorated with an Islamist flag in the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Smoke rises behind a car decorated with an Islamist flag in the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they sit on the ground at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. Picture taken February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they sit on the ground at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. Picture taken February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they sit on the ground at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. Picture taken February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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Free Syrian Army fighters run to take cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters run to take cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters run to take cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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Free Syrian Army fighters run to take cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters run to take cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters run to take cover during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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A civilian shows her damaged house in the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A civilian shows her damaged house in the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A civilian shows her damaged house in the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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A Free Syrian Army fighter takes position during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A Free Syrian Army fighter takes position during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A Free Syrian Army fighter takes position during clashes with forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks among the rubble of damaged buildings at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks among the rubble of damaged buildings at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he walks among the rubble of damaged buildings at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they take position at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they take position at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they take position at the Sheikh Saeed district, near a cement factory in Aleppo, February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam
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