Nov. 29 - Syria's interior minister is seen presiding over the graduation of new army recruits and calls forces engaging with rebels ''heroes'', in footage aired on Syrian TV. Sarah Charlton reports.
EDITORS NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Syrian government troops train for combat near Damascus. Footage broadcast on Syrian state television shows soldiers conducting a number of military drills in a display of strength and skill. Watching the event is Interior Minister Mohammad al-Shaar, who also presided over a graduation for new recruits. Shaar told the ceremony that Syria would emerge stronger from its battle with rebel fighters, who have been trying to bring down the government for the past 20 months. He said soldiers engaging with rebel forces were "heroes". The event came as rebels appeared to make gains by storming army bases in the country. The ongoing conflict has now claimed some 40,000 lives. In the capital on Wednesday (November 28), two car bombs killed more than 30 people in an area loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.