Islamist rebels claim capture of Syria army base
The capture of Qarmeed camp in Idlib, if confirmed, would be the latest in a series of setbacks for the Syrian army
A coalition of Islamist rebels said they seized a Syrian army base in northwestern Idlib province at dawn on Monday after a suicide bomber from al -Qaeda’s Nusra Front drove a truck packed with explosives inside and set it off.
Syrian state media said the army had inflicted heavy casualties on rebels in the area and launched air strikes, but did not say the base had fallen.
The capture of Qarmeed camp, if confirmed, would be the latest in a series of setbacks for the army in the region. It would allow the rebels to tighten their siege on the major Mastouma army base nearby which has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks.
“A truck with two tonnes of explosives penetrated one of the entrances of the camp that made it easier to take over the camp,” Sheikh Husam Abu Bakr, a rebel commander from Ahrar al Sham said via Skype.
Insurgents have been trying to push the army out of the few remaining government areas in the province, bringing them closer to Latakia, the ancestral home of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Hardline Sunni Islamist rebels seized Idlib city, the provincial capital, last month after forming an alliance that includes Nusra, the Ahrar al-Sham movement and Jund al-Aqsa, but not the rival Islamic State group which controls large tracts of Syria and Iraq.
On Saturday, the coalition captured the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour for the first time in the four-year-old conflict.
The Islamist alliance calls itself the Army of Fatah, a reference to the conquests that spread Islam across the Middle East from the 7th century.
Israel army kills four men at Syria frontierThe Israeli military spokesman issued a terse statement saying the air force had thwarted an attack at the Israeli-Syrian border Middle East
Syria changes passport rules for citizens abroadSyrian authorities will allow citizens abroad to obtain passports without an intelligence service review for the first time Middle East
U.S., allies conduct 23 air strikes in Syria, IraqU.S.-led forces targeted ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq Middle East
Damascus fair encourages people to ‘buy Syrian’Syria’s exports have plunged from $11.3 billion in 2010 to only $1.8 billion last year Economy
Syria warplanes strike northwest city seized by rebelsThe Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four air strikes hit Jisr al-Shughour Middle East
Two Swedes abducted in Syria freedTwo Swedes who had been abducted in Syria were released on Friday, news agency TT reported Middle East
Syria’s former spy chief dies in unclear circumstancesThe cause and circumstances of his death were not immediately clear Middle East
Nusra Front, allies overrun key Syrian citySyria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate and its allies overran the last major government-held city in the northwestern province of Idlib Middle East
Angelina Jolie criticizes U.N. failures on Syria crisisActress Angelina Jolie on Friday criticized the U.N. Security Council's failure to end the war in Syria, as she appealed for urgent help for ... Reports
U.S., allies conduct 15 air strikes in Syria, IraqU.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants in Syria with four air strikes from Friday to Saturday morning and conducted 11 ... Middle East