It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning.
Rebels in Syria are making slow but steady advances in the north of their country. Last week, they captured a third major border crossing between Syria and Turkey, and they claim to now control a similar border crossing with Iraq. The rebels say it's all part of a strategy to secure a kind of safe zone in the north, as they try to topple the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
A young Syrian girl wiped her tears after not being allowed entry to Turkey last month. Thousands of Syrians have fled to neighboring countries to escape the civil war raging in their nation.
Credit Aris Messinis / AFP/Getty Images
Unfortunately, this news is not a surprise:
"As Syria's civil war has intensified, thousands of children have died in brutal attacks and many more have been injured, traumatized or forced to flee their homes," the international charity Save the Children reports. And it warns that "boys and girls continue to be killed, maimed and tortured. These appalling violations against children must stop and those carrying them out held to account."
Syrian rebels pose after seizing control of the Bab al-Hawa border post on the Syrian-Turkey border on July 20. Now, the rebels are facing a new challenge: radical Islamists, who they say do not represent them.
Homegrown rebels have done most of the fighting against the Syrian government troops. But Islamist militants from abroad, including some with links to al-Qaida, are now joining the fight against the government in growing numbers.
The local rebels are not pleased with this development, and there is growing tension between the groups that share a desire to oust President Bashar Assad but little else.
Until a few weeks ago, the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa on Syria's northern frontier with Turkey was the site of a training camp for a militant Islamist group.
A Syrian documentary film producer whose disappearance two weeks ago prompted concerns for his safety and a letter of support from the Toronto International Film Festival is now free, according to reports.