Syrian fighters overrun key army base in new regime setback

Syrian fighters overrun key army base in new regime setback
Updated 09 June 2015

Syrian fighters overrun key army base in new regime setback

Syrian fighters overrun key army base in new regime setback

BEIRUT: An alliance of Syrian rebel forces seized a key army base in the south of the country on Tuesday in a new setback for the regime’s embattled troops.
The Southern Front alliance took full control of the 52nd Brigade base in Daraa province after 24 hours of fierce clashes, a spokesman for the group told AFP. “The 52nd Brigade base was fully liberated from the regime army,” Major Essam Al-Rayes said, adding that at least 2,000 rebel forces had participated in the “short and quick” assault.
The base lies near a major highway running from Damascus to Syria’s southern border with Jordan and is also near the border with neighboring Sweida province, which is largely regime-controlled.
“This base was one of the main lines of defense for the regime forces. It was a nightmare, because they used it to shell all the areas to the east of the province,” Al-Rayes said.
“The base is also an important infantry base, from which the regime attacked towns and villages in the south,” said Diaa Al-Hariri, spokesman for Faylaq Al-Awwal, one of the rebel groups in the Southern Front coalition. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group confirmed that opposition groups had taken the 52nd Brigade base after clashes and intense shelling that left 14 rebel fighters and 20 government forces dead.