Beijing: Thousands of rebel fighters have massed in northern Syria in the hope of storming three military airports in the region, but the Syrian troops have succeeded so far in keeping them out, a pro-government newspaper reported Monday.
The rebels, from different factions, have beefed up in the vicinity of Koerce, Menngh and Abu-Alduhur airbases in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, to take part in their "largest military operation" to control the three bases, al-Watan daily said.
However, their attempt has not yielded fruit yet, the paper said, denying reports by anti-Syrian government TVs that the rebels have managed to storm parts of those airports.
Backed by the air force, the troops have succeeded in repulsing the "intensive, successive attacks" and killed tens of the armed men and destroyed their military gears, the paper said.
The rebels have recently focused their attacks on airfields across Syria under the pretext of keeping the army from launching airstrikes against rebel-held areas.
However, military analysts said the rebels` targeting of the airbases aims only to weaken the country`s air defense network so as to set the stage for possible foreign military intervention.