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Militants capture army base in NW Syria

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Syria opposition sources claim militants of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front have taken control of a military base in Syria’s northwest.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the militants backed by another militant group seized the Wadi al-Deif base in the province of Idlib on Monday morning.

“All of Wadi al-Deif has been taken. Other areas near the base have also been captured,” the UK-based group noted, adding that at least 31 government forces as well as 12 militants were killed in the clashes.

The Takfiri group also claimed in a message posted on its Twitter account that it has taken the base.

The Syrian government is yet to comment on the development.

This is while Syrian government troops reportedly regained control of nine villages around the northeastern city al-Hasakah, located approximately 650 kilometers (400 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus on Sunday.

Over the past months, Syrian soldiers have made numerous gains in the battle against the foreign-sponsored militants, inflicting heavy losses on them in several areas.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly conflict since March 2011. Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are the main supporters of the militants operating inside Syria.

More than 200,000 people have so far died in the Syrian conflict.

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