BEIRUT: Syria’s rebels captured a military airbase in the northern province of Aleppo yesterday and geared for a major battle against loyalist forces for control of two nearby strategic airports.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels, from the Islamist Al-Nusra Front and the Muhajireen battalion, overran the base in Sfeira, east of Aleppo international airport, and captured a large stockpile of ammunition.
The Britain-based watchdog also reported intermittent clashes around Aleppo international airport itself as well as around Nayrab airbase and another military complex, as the two sides squared up for a major fight.
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the army shelled the area around Aleppo international airport and Nayrab air base yesterday morning, while rebels used home-made rockets to shell Nayrab.
Rebels seized the base on Wednesday after a battle that left at least 150 dead from both sides, among them senior army officers.