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Syria rebels capture checkpoint outside Aleppo

Iskandar Kat / AFP - Getty Images

Syrian rebel fighters celebrate on top of a government tank captured after a 10-hour battle at a checkpoint in the village of Anadan, about 4 miles northwest of Aleppo, on July 30.

Junot Diaz / AFP - Getty Images

Syrian rebel fighters celebrate on top of a tank captured from Syrian government forces.

Junot Diaz / AFP - Getty Images

Syrian rebel fighters celebrate on top of a tank at a checkpoint in the village of Anadan.

By NBC News wire services: The past two weeks have seen forces of President Bashar Assad struggle to maintain their grip on the country after a major rebel advance into the two main cities, Aleppo and Damascus, and a July 18 explosion that killed four top security officials.

Government forces have succeeded in imposing their grip on Damascus but rebel fighters gained control of parts of Aleppo, a city of 2.5 million people, where journalists have toured neighborhoods dotted with Free Syrian Army checkpoints flying black and white Islamist banners.

Yet Syria's rebels are still massively outgunned and it seems just a matter of time before Assad's massed forces outside the city crush them, much the way a similar rebel assault on Damascus over a week ago was quashed. Full Story

Stringer / Reuters

After months of protests and violent crackdowns, a look back at the violence that has overtaken the country.

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