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Syria heads for partition as talks start

The regime's new victory in Homs and rebel advances in the north and south of Syria are signs that both sides are looking to make headway before much-touted peace talks.

world Updated: Jul 31, 2013 02:33 IST

The regime's new victory in Homs and rebel advances in the north and south of Syria are signs that both sides are looking to make headway before much-touted peace talks.

"Having consolidated its victory in Homs, the regime controls all the area stretching from Damascus to the coast," says analyst Karim Bitar of the French Institute of International and Strategic Relations.

"The rebels control the north and the Euphrates valley area (Aleppo, Raqa and Deir Ezzor), while the Kurds, who are growing increasingly autonomous, hold the northeast," Bitar told AFP.

The Syrian government announced Monday the capture of Khaldiyeh, a key rebel district in Homs, Syria's third city and a symbol of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The fall of Khaldiyeh came after a month-long offensive. It was the second win for Assad's regime in two months, after the army, with the help of fighters from Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah, captured in June the rebel bastion of Qusayr.