Syrian rebels seize hospital from regime

Syrian rebels captured a hospital on Friday from Syrian government forces who had been besieged there since late April

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Syrian opposition groups - chiefly Ahrar al-Sham, the Levant Front and al Qaeda's affiliate Nusra Front - announced on Friday that they had taken control over 'Jisr al-Shughur' hospital west of Idlib Province where regime soldiers and officials have been besieged for around a month as the regime continues to conduct air strikes heavily on the region, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Syrian state TV, SANA, said the forces managed to 'break the siege' in the national hospital of 'Jisr al shughur'. SANA also said the Syrian army did not flee the hospital in Jisr al-Shughur but went to a mass “Friday prayer” and they will return back to their positions. The regime forces have been besieged since the city of Jisr al Shughur was captured by opposition groups and al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front on April 25.

Meanwhile, the opposition news website said that all regime forces who attempted to flee the hospital towards a nearest regime position in Sahl al Gahab in the south were either captured or killed. 

Al-Jazeera said the opposition fighters destroyed dozens of tanks and military vehicles and killed dozens of regime troops who were advancing from the Sahl al Ghab region to support regime forces in the hospital.

Jisr al-Shughur has a strategic position as it is situated near the main regime supply lines between Aleppo and the regime-held coastal provinces.

About 17,000 air strikes and explosive barrel drops have been conducted by Syrian regime warplanes and helicopters within the last seven months, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented on Friday.

The war in Syria started in 2011 after Syrians protested against the repressive system of the Assad regime. The conflict became a civil war between regime forces and the armed opposition, which has torn the country into opposition-held and regime-held regions. The war has claimed the lives of more than 220,000 people and displaced about 11 million outside and inside the country, according to the UN.

Fatah Army begins ‘Victory Battle’

Seven opposition groups including Jund al-Aqsa, Islam Army, and the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front joined in last March to form an operation room called 'Fatah Army' to capture Idlib province, one of the main strongholds of the regime.  

The Fatah Army announced the capture of Idlib after four days of fighting with regime forces on March 28. Opposition groups along with Nusra Front captured Jisr al-Shughur on April 25 after less than a month of taking over Idlib.

Earlier this week on Tuesday the Syrian opposition captured the Al Mastouma camp north of Idlib province, following long and fierce clashes with regime soldiers that ended with significant gains for the rebels. More than 300 Syrian regime soldiers were stationed in the Al Mastouma camp, the last base of the regime in Idlib.

The operation, called “Victory Battle," comprised of more than 20 opposition groups including the Levant front, Jund al-aqsa, Ahrar al Sham and Islam Army alongside with Nusra Front.

TRTWorld and agencies