Syrian activists say rebels have captured all of a northern town near the Turkish border after weeks of heavy fighting.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels captured the last strongholds of government troops in the town of Harem early on December 25.
The town of 20,000 in northern Idlib Province is the latest of many successes claimed by rebels in wide areas along the border with Turkey.
Muhammad Kanaan, an Idlib-based opposition activist, says the last government post in Harem to be captured by rebels was the historic citadel overlooking the town.
In his traditional Christmas address on December 25, Pope Benedict XVI decried the killing of the "defenseless" in Syria, where antiregime activists estimate more than 40,000 people have died since the uprising began in March 2011.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AP