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Syrian rebels cut major desert road linking the country's 2 largest cities

In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, anti-Syrian regime protesters hold a poster depicting Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right,  during a demonstration, at Kafr Nabil town, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday May 10, 2013. Arabic banner on the background reads, "Kafr Nabil." (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN)

In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, anti-Syrian regime protesters hold a poster depicting Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, during a demonstration, at Kafr Nabil town, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday May 10, 2013. Arabic banner on the background reads, "Kafr Nabil." (AP Photo/Edlib News Network ENN)  (The Associated Press)

A Syrian activist says rebels have been able to cut a newly built desert road linking the capital Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo.

Rami-Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Saturday rebels took over two army posts on the road near Aleppo after days of fighting.

The regime built the desert road as a backup route after rebels captured the town of Maaret al-Numan in October cutting the main highway between the country's two largest cities.

The Observatory also reported clashes in the town of Qusair, near the border with Lebanon.

The fighting in the town came a day after U.N. commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay expessed alarm over Qusair, which has been besieged by Syrian troops for several weeks.