Syrian rebels capture last regime base in Idlib

Syrian opposition fighters take over key regime military base in northern Idlib province as 300 regime soldiers reportedly fled

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Syrian rebels announced their complete control over the last military base belonging to the Syrian regime in northern Idlib province, after heavy clashes with the regime troops.

Regime soldiers who survived in the camp were withdrawing towards Ariha - currently one of the last regime bastions in the province- according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The leader of Ahrar al-Sham, one of the main opposition groups involved in the battle, told Reuters that his group's fighters along with all rebels taking part will continue advancing towards Ariha after the capture of Al-Mastouma base.

The Syrian state media announced that the troops withdrew from Al-Mastouma towards Ariha to "support" the forces there.

Syrian opposition groups, including Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate Nusra Front, formed an alliance in a unified operation room called Fatah Army last March.

The alliance had announced the battle to capture Idlib province which is one of the remaining Syrian regime controlled bases in the northern Syria.

Idlib's city center was under the control of opposition four days after the start of the battle, but the clashes continued between the rebels and regime troops to capture the rest of the province.

Al-Mastouma base is located in the eastern part of Jisr al-Shughour which the opposition had captured last April as they approached regime strongholds along the coastal provinces.

The war in Syria claimed the lives of more than 220,000 and injured millions, and seen 70 percent of the Syrian population to leave the country, according to recent estimates by the UN.

TRTWorld and agencies