Rebels seize army base near border

Rebels seize army base near border

Syrian rebels said they captured a large special forces base on a main road between the city of Aleppo and the Turkish border on Nov. 18 before the heaviest bombardment hit Damascus.

Aleppo and its environs in the north saw heavy combat, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, reporting rebels had seized control of a “large part” of regime-held Base 46, which they had been besieging for weeks. The rebels also captured at least 25 regime soldiers during clashes with the military at the same base, it said.

A statement by the Aleppo Media Center said at least 15 tanks were seized. Mohammad Abdallah, an opposition campaigner in the north, said artillery stationed at the base had been used to bomb towns and villages in rural Aleppo and the neighboring province of Idlib. The base is situated 25 kilometers west of Aleppo, Syria’s commercial and industrial hub, about halfway between the city and the Turkish border.

Heaviest bombardment

The seizure of the base came ahead of Syrian government forces firing rockets into southern Damascus yesterday in what opposition activists called an indiscriminate bombardment to stop rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad advancing from the working class suburbs to the city center.
The activists said it was the heaviest bombardment in 40 days of air strikes and artillery shelling aimed at blunting the gains by rebels operating from the Sunni Muslim neighborhoods on the edge of the capital.

Compiled from AFP and Reuters stories by the Daily News staff.