Qaeda in Syria takes last regime base in Idlib

Al-Qaeda`s Syrian affiliate has seized control of the last military base held by the regime in the northwestern province of Idlib, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

AFP| Updated: Sep 09, 2015, 14:34 PM IST

Beirut: Al-Qaeda`s Syrian affiliate has seized control of the last military base held by the regime in the northwestern province of Idlib, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

Al-Nusra Front and allied Islamist groups captured the Abu Duhur military airport after a siege that lasted two years, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"After a violent attack that had been taking place since Monday, Al-Nusra Front and some Islamist factions have taken nearly all of the Abu Duhur military airport," the Britain-based Observatory said.

Syrian state television also announced "the retreat of the army... which had protected the airport during a two-year-siege".

Rebel forces had seized the entrance to the airport and several positions on its outskirts in late August in an advance that began with suicide bombers on motorbikes.

The so-called "Army of Conquest", a collection of Islamist and jihadist forces, captured the Idlib provincial capital in March and has since driven Syria`s military from most of the province.

President Bashar al-Assad`s regime has been at war against different rebel groups for the past four years, in a conflict that has so far killed at least 240,000 people.