The Associated Press reports: Syrian rebels have seized a sprawling military base in a lightning assault, marking the latest in a series of defeats for President Bashar al-Assad’s increasingly embattled forces, rebels and activists said.
Assad’s forces have suffered a string of setbacks over the past three months at the hands of insurgents, members of al-Qaida’s local affiliate and the Islamic State extremist group. The government lost the northern city of Idlib, the central historic town of Palmyra and a southern border crossing point with Jordan.
The western-backed rebel alliance known as the Southern Front led the dawn assault on the army base known as Brigade 52 in the southern Daraa province, said Ahmad al-Masalmeh, an opposition activist in Daraa. It is the biggest Syrian military base in the province and lies near a major highway running from Jordan to the capital Damascus. He said the rebels also captured the nearby village of Mleiha al-Sharqiyeh. [Continue reading…]