Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front has seized the largest military base in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, a UK-based monitoring group says.
All Syrian forces have withdrawn from the al-Mastumah military base, said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, on Tuesday.
The base fell into the hands of the militants following a huge blast and heavy clashes with Syrian government troops who left the base towards the town of Ariha, he added.
Syrian state television announced that the military was “taking defensive positions” outside of the northern town.
Over the last few months, Idlib has been the epicenter of deadly clashes between government troops and the Takfiris.
The provincial capital was overrun by the terrorists on March 28 and the nearby city of Jisr al-Shughur fell last month.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 222,000 people, according to reports.
Over 3.8 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the crisis. More than 7.2 million Syrians have also become internally displaced, according to the United Nations.