Saturday, 21 July 2012 17:22
RABIA: Syrian truck driver Abu Sara used to feel scared when he crossed the border into Iraq, fearing attacks in a country gripped by sectarian violence. Now, as he exits a Syria in even greater turmoil, he feels a sense of relief.
"Us drivers, we feel the danger of the road as we enter the Syrian territories, but we feel safe when we are near the crossings between the two sides," he said at the northern Iraqi border crossing in Rabia, 100 km (62 miles) west of the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Rabia was still in the hands of government forces, he said on Friday night. The Syrian flag fluttered above the border crossing and a huge mural of Hafez al-Assad, the late father of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was on display.
Other crossings with Iraq and Turkey have fallen in the hands of the rebels, the first time they have held ...