Damascus: Syrian troops have recaptured "large swathes" of the Brigade 80 military base which was overrun by rebels in February in the northern city of Aleppo, activists said Friday.
The base, which is responsible for securing the adjacent international airport of Aleppo, has been witnessing "intense clashes" since early Friday morning between the Syrian troops backed by pro-government militiamen and several rebel groups, including the al Qaeda-linked The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Xinhua reported.
The army troops pushed into the base and wrested back control over large portions, prompting the rebels to call for reinforcements. Local media said the rebels lost at least 15 fighters in the fighting.
The report added that the Syrian troops were shelling the rebel positions in the areas surrounding Aleppo airport as clashes were still going on inside the base.
The latest development came a day after the Syrian troops said they had dislodged the rebels from a key cluster of towns in the southern countryside of Damascus.
With this, the Syrian army has managed to considerably shrink the rebel presence in the vicinity of Damascus.