Syrian rebels seized control of a large portion of Sheikh Suleiman base, west of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Dec. 9, AFP reported. Two rebels and one soldier were reportedly killed. Clashes also broke out on the outskirts of Damascus. As rebel gains continue and the pressure on the regime grows, the likelihood of a military coup will increase. President Bashar al Assad is aware that his power depends on his forces' ability to hold their ground.