ISTANBUL -- For the second time in a week, the civil war in Syria spilled across border areas on Wednesday as rebel forces were reported to have driven government troops from a northern frontier crossing in an apparent effort to expand resupply and infiltration routes in the campaign to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
Turkish schools in the region were closed for the day after intense overnight clashes as the rebels attacked the Syrian frontier post at Tal Abyad, south of the Turkish town of Sanliurfa, according to the semiofficial Anatolian News Agency.
Television footage Wednesday appeared to show members of the insurgent Free Syrian Army standing on the roof of the border post and hauling down the Syrian flag at Tal Abyad, which is less than a mile from Turkey's Akcakale crossing.
A private Turkish television channel said Syrian tanks were headed for the border post. The attack came two days after Lebanese officials said that Syrian warplanes and helicopters, pursuing opposition fighters, had fired on a Lebanese town near the two countries' shared border.
News of the rebel advance came as opposition fighters were forced to withdraw from several neighborhoods in the Damascus suburbs, ceding territory to the army after two weeks of fighting that had forced most residents to flee. Activists said the fighters, shelled for days and out of ammunition, withdrew from the neighborhoods of al-Hajjar al-Aswad and Qadam.