< 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
May 29, 12:31 PM EDT

Syrian militants advance after seizing government stronghold


Documents
Indictment of Monzer al-Kassar
Latest Syria News
Syrian militants advance after seizing government stronghold

Syria says air support to rebels would be 'aggression'

Former British premier: Refugees overwhelm Lebanese schools

Syrians try to build case against Assad in chlorine attacks

Deputy Russia FM: Western Mideast policies 'short-sighted'

Buy AP Photo Reprints

BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say militants led by al-Qaida's branch in Syria are advancing in the northwestern province of Idlib after capturing a government stronghold.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said Friday that the so-called Fatah Army has captured several villages near the town of Ariha, which the insurgents seized the day before. Ariha had been one of the last major government strongholds in Idlib.

The Fatah Army includes seven Syrian armed factions and is led by al-Qaida's Nusra Front. Turkey and Saudi Arabia support the coalition.

The Observatory, which is based in Britain but relies on activists inside Syria, said militants killed 13 troops and pro-government gunmen after capturing them alive in Ariha. It says 18 others were killed as they fled the town.

© 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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.