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Pictures | Tue Apr 15, 2014 | 2:45am BST

Fighting for Assad

<p>Soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad hold a Syrian national flag with a picture of Assad, as they pass Mar Bacchus Sarkis monastery, at Maloula village, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters, April 14, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri</p>

Soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad hold a Syrian national flag with a picture of Assad, as they pass Mar Bacchus Sarkis monastery, at Maloula village, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters,...more

Soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad hold a Syrian national flag with a picture of Assad, as they pass Mar Bacchus Sarkis monastery, at Maloula village, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters, April 14, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

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<p>Soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad pose with their weapons as they celebrating taking control of al-Sakhra village in Qalamoun Mountains, northeast of Damascus April 14, 2014. .   REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri</p>

Soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad pose with their weapons as they celebrating taking control of al-Sakhra village in Qalamoun Mountains, northeast of Damascus April 14, 2014. . REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

Soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad pose with their weapons as they celebrating taking control of al-Sakhra village in Qalamoun Mountains, northeast of Damascus April 14, 2014. . REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

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<p>Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen at al-Sakhra village in Qalamoun mountains, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters, April 14, 2014.   REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri</p>

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen at al-Sakhra village in Qalamoun mountains, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters, April 14, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen at al-Sakhra village in Qalamoun mountains, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters, April 14, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

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<p>Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen in a tunnel in Mleha town, in the suburb of Damascus in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA on April 12, 2014. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters</p>

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen in a tunnel in Mleha town, in the suburb of Damascus in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA on April 12, 2014. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are seen in a tunnel in Mleha town, in the suburb of Damascus in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA on April 12, 2014. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

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<p>Rebel fighters embrace each others as they celebrate, after retaking the town of Babolin in Idlib countryside from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad April 4, 2014.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi</p>

Rebel fighters embrace each others as they celebrate, after retaking the town of Babolin in Idlib countryside from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad April 4, 2014. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Rebel fighters embrace each others as they celebrate, after retaking the town of Babolin in Idlib countryside from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad April 4, 2014. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

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<p>A tank belonging to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seen at one of the sites in Latakia mountains, after they took control of it from rebel fighters, April 3, 2014, in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters</p>

A tank belonging to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seen at one of the sites in Latakia mountains, after they took control of it from rebel fighters, April 3, 2014, in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA....more

A tank belonging to forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seen at one of the sites in Latakia mountains, after they took control of it from rebel fighters, April 3, 2014, in this handout released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

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<p>Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspect dead bodies, which according to them were members of the Free Syrian Army, in al-Maamel area in Aleppo's countryside, after claiming to have advanced and regained control of it March 25, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian</p>

Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspect dead bodies, which according to them were members of the Free Syrian Army, in al-Maamel area in Aleppo's countryside, after claiming to have advanced and regained control of it...more

Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspect dead bodies, which according to them were members of the Free Syrian Army, in al-Maamel area in Aleppo's countryside, after claiming to have advanced and regained control of it March 25, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

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<p>Officers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad talk to the media at Yabroud town, March 16, 2014, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA.  REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters</p>

Officers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad talk to the media at Yabroud town, March 16, 2014, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

Officers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad talk to the media at Yabroud town, March 16, 2014, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

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<p>A Syrian Army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspects a mortar, which they said was used by Free Syrian Army fighters, in Ard al-Hamra in Aleppo, after claiming to have regained control of the area February 27, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian</p>

A Syrian Army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspects a mortar, which they said was used by Free Syrian Army fighters, in Ard al-Hamra in Aleppo, after claiming to have regained control of the area February 27, 2014....more

A Syrian Army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad inspects a mortar, which they said was used by Free Syrian Army fighters, in Ard al-Hamra in Aleppo, after claiming to have regained control of the area February 27, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

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<p>Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in Talet Syriatell in Aleppo province, after they claimed to have regained control of the area February 19, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian</p>

Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in Talet Syriatell in Aleppo province, after they claimed to have regained control of the area February 19, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

Syrian army soldiers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in Talet Syriatell in Aleppo province, after they claimed to have regained control of the area February 19, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

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<p>Soldiers from forces loyal to Syria's  President Bashar al-Assad attend a rally supporting him and the army in Damascus February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri</p>

Soldiers from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad attend a rally supporting him and the army in Damascus February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

Soldiers from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad attend a rally supporting him and the army in Damascus February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

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<p>A Syrian army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad fires towards Free Syrian Army bases in Masaken hanano from Talet Alghaliya February 17, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian</p>

A Syrian army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad fires towards Free Syrian Army bases in Masaken hanano from Talet Alghaliya February 17, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

A Syrian army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad fires towards Free Syrian Army bases in Masaken hanano from Talet Alghaliya February 17, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

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<p>A helicopter loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad throws what activists say is an explosive barrel, in Al-Shaar area in Aleppo, February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Mounzer Masri</p>

A helicopter loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad throws what activists say is an explosive barrel, in Al-Shaar area in Aleppo, February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Mounzer Masri

A helicopter loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad throws what activists say is an explosive barrel, in Al-Shaar area in Aleppo, February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Mounzer Masri

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<p>Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in the old city of Aleppo February 11, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian</p>

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in the old city of Aleppo February 11, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in the old city of Aleppo February 11, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

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<p>A Syrian army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad points his weapon through piled sandbags at the Justice Palace in the old city of Aleppo, February 10, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian</p>

A Syrian army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad points his weapon through piled sandbags at the Justice Palace in the old city of Aleppo, February 10, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

A Syrian army soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad points his weapon through piled sandbags at the Justice Palace in the old city of Aleppo, February 10, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

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<p>Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in the old city of Aleppo February 11, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian</p>

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in the old city of Aleppo February 11, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk in the old city of Aleppo February 11, 2014. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

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