BEIRUT: An alliance of Syrian rebel forces seized a key army base in the south of the country on Tuesday in a new setback for the regime’s embattled troops.
The Southern Front alliance took full control of the 52nd Brigade base in Daraa province after 24 hours of fierce clashes, a spokesman for the group said.
“The 52nd Brigade base was fully liberated from the regime army,” Major Essam al-Rayes said, adding that at least 2,000 rebel forces had participated in the “short and quick” assault.
The base is near a major highway running from Damascus to Syria’s southern border with Jordan and also near the border with neighbouring Sweida province, which is largely regime-controlled.
“The base is also an important infantry base, from which the regime attacked towns and villages in the south,” said Diaa al-Hariri, spokesman for Faylaq al-Awwal, one of the rebel groups in the Southern Front coalition.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group confirmed that opposition groups had taken the 52nd Brigade base after clashes and intense shelling that left 14 rebel fighters and 20 government forces dead.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2015