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Report: Syrian rebels clash with Lebanon troops on border

Lebanese troops clashed with Syrian rebels on the border between the two countries in what a security source told Reuters may have the first such incident between Lebanon's army and the rebels.

The clash occurred Sunday when a Lebanese border patrol spotted the rebel fighters along the border and the rebels opened fire to prevent the patrol from approaching, the Lebanese military source told Reuters. He said there were no casualties.

Although tensions have been high along various points of the Lebanon-Syria border, Sunday's incident may have been the first involving armed fighters.

In late September, a security incident involving Syrian rebels at a Lebanese checkpoint was played down by local residents and officials but initial reports suggested that shots had been fired.

The violence in Syria also spilled over to Turkey on Monday, as Turkey scrambled fighter jets after Syrian government forces bombed rebel positions in the frontier town of Ras al-Ain and stray shells flew into Turkish territory, Turkish security sources told Reuters.

PhotoBlog: Turkey scrambles jets as Syrian government forces bomb border town

Shells landed in the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar, which abuts Ras al-Ain, triggering panic, the sources told Reuters. It was not immediately clear whether the shells were fired by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad or by the rebels.

Osman Orsal / Reuters

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The uprising against the Assad family’s four decades of rule began 20 months ago. Opposition activists say the fighting has resulted in the deaths of some 40,000 people, according to The Associated Press.

Syria: No chemical weapons plan
On Monday, Syria said that it would not use chemical weapons against its own people after the U.S. warned it would take action against any such escalation.

The statements came amid media reports, citing European and U.S. officials, that Syria's chemical weapons had been moved and could be prepared for use in response to dramatic gains by rebels fighting to topple Assad.

"Syria has stressed repeatedly that it will not use these types of weapons, if they were available, under any circumstances against its people," the foreign ministry said.

Car bombs kill 34 in Syria suburb

The opposition believe that Assad could turn to heavier weapons and some have suggested he might use chemical weapons. 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had earlier warned that Washington would take action if Syria used the weapons.

"I am not going to telegraph any specifics what we do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people, but suffice to say, we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur," she said during a visit to Prague Monday.

'Worst day in those people's lives'
On Sunday, opposition activists said that dozens were killed and wounded when government forces pounded rebel-held suburbs around Damascus with fighter jets and rockets.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights gave a preliminary death toll for Sunday's fighting of 140.

Machine guns operated by motorcycle brakes? Get a glimpse at the rebels fighting against Assad's forces in Syria's mountainous Jabal al-Zawiya area.

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Activists said rocket fire struck towns close to the Damascus airport road, where rebels and the army had been locked in three days of clashes. Some described constant shelling, similar to carpet bombing, in towns like Beit Saham.

"It was frightening because it was the first time we heard continuous shelling. Really powerful explosions, one after the other, were shaking the area. I could see fire coming up from the town," said Samir al-Shami, from the opposition's Syrian Youth Union, speaking by Skype.

"This was the worst day in those people's lives," he added.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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