- 5 updates
The White House has condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the Syrian Army's victory in the town of Qusair and has called on Hezbollah and Iran to immediately withdraw fighters from the country.
Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad suffered a significant defeat when they were pushed back from the strategically important town of Qusair, which they had held for more than a year.
ITV News reporter Neil Connery on why the loss is so important:
Syrian and Lebanese TV stations are carrying images from the town of Qusair after pro-government forces drove out rebels.
Many of the buildings, including a mosque, have been seriously damaged by shelling and the streets are full of rubble.
Syrian rebels confirmed to Reuters that they had pulled out of the strategically-important town of Qusair "in face of this huge arsenal and lack supplies".
They also blamed the "blatant intervention" of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for their defeat.
The statement added: "Dozens of fighters stayed behind and ensured the withdrawal of their comrades along with the civilians."
Soldiers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been celebrating victory in the streets of the strategic town of Qusair in the west of the country.
Lebanon's Hezbollah-backed TV station Al Manar has been showing footage of soldiers sticking Syrian flags with photographs of Assad on piles of rubble in the badly-bombed town.
The town, which lies close to the border with Lebanon and a critical supply route, has seen intense fighting for more than two weeks.
Syrian state TV carried a statement from the military saying: "Our heroic armed forces have returned security and stability to all of the town of Qusair."