< html > The Associated Press
Bolivar Commercial
 LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Apr 27, 5:06 AM EDT

Syrian insurgents capture military base in northwest


Documents
Indictment of Monzer al-Kassar
Latest Syria News
Syrian insurgents capture military base in northwest

Israel says airstrike on Syrian border targeted militants

UN envoy to start talks in May on new Syria initiative

Buy AP Photo Reprints

BEIRUT (AP) -- Islamic insurgents overran a military base at a converted brick factory in northwestern Syria on Monday, carting off tanks and other weapons in the latest blow to President Bashar Assad's forces in the region, activists said.

The opposition offensive in Idlib province has captured the provincial capital, a strategic town as well as villages and military bases since it began last month. An array of anti-Assad armed factions from across the ideological spectrum has demonstrated a degree of sustained coordination previously unseen in northern Syria, contributing to the campaign's success.

After hours of heavy fighting on Monday, the opposition fighters seized control of the base at the brick factory northwest of the town of Ariha, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Jisr al-Shughour activist coordinating committee's Facebook page said.

The Observatory said the insurgents captured seven tanks, armored vehicles, heavy machine guns and ammunition.

Photographs posted on the Twitter feed of one of the groups involved in the battle, the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front, showed fighters carting off green crates of what appeared to be ammunition. The account also carried photos of a tank and heavy artillery that it said were the "spoils" of the battle.

The photographs could not be immediately verified, but they appeared genuine and corresponded to other Associated Press reporting.

The fall of the base is the latest in a string of defeats for Assad's forces in Idlib. Government troops have already been pushed out of Idlib city, the provincial capital, as well as the town of Jisr al-Shughour.

Syria's SANA state news agency said Monday the military is waging "fierce battles" around the brick factory, and has killed and wounded a "large number of terrorists." The government refers to those trying to topple Assad as "terrorists."

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.