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In response to increased fighting near its border with Syria, Turkey has closed all its official border gates between the two countries. The closures will essentially cut off any trade and commercial activity between the two nations, but is unlikely to stem to the tide of refugees pouring in to Turkey since most them cross through smuggling routes and other unguarded areas.

Turkey says the border cross has become too dangerous for truck drivers who have been targeted by the competing forces, or simply get caught in crossfires. Rebels have begun taking over the border check points on the Syrian side in the last couple weeks.

The fighting has also moved out of Damascus in recent days, as the army has redirected its attention to the northern city of Aleppo, where military planes and helicopter reportedly bombed neighborhoods on Tuesday. The rebel uprising has turned into a bit of a "whack-a-mole" situation for the government, as rebels routinely "liberate" one town or neighbor, then are driven back by the military, only to rise up again in another part of the country. With up to 17,000 alleged defections by soldiers and generals, the Syrian military is stretched too thin to hold the entire country under its control, but can still respond with brief, but overwhelming force in certain areas.

That doesn't even begin to consider the terrorist threat, which is becoming an increasing worry for all sides as Al-Qaeda attempts to the hijack the chaos of the revolution for its own ends.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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