Rebels seize an­other north­ern town

Austin American-Statesman - - THE SECOND FRONT - By Bassem Mroue

BEIRUT — Syr­ian rebels fully cap­tured a north­ern town near the Turk­ish bor­der on Tues­day af­ter weeks of heavy fight­ing and at­tacked a regime air base in a neigh­bor­ing province, ac­tivists said.

The air base is in Aleppo province, where op­po­si­tion fight­ers have al­ready cap­tured three other large mil­i­tary bases in re­cent months. Rebels have also laid siege to the in­ter­na­tional air­port in the city of Aleppo, Syria’s com­mer­cial cap­i­tal, and launched an of­fen­sive on the po­lice academy near the city.

With steady rebel gains across the north, Pres­i­dent Bashar As­sad’s regime is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in­creased dif­fi­culty send­ing sup­plies by land to Aleppo province, es­pe­cially af­ter rebels cut a ma­jor thor­ough­fare from Da­m­as­cus. It is just an­other sign that the op­po­si­tion is con­sol­i­dat­ing its grip across large swaths of ter­ri­tory in north­ern Syria near the Turk­ish bor­der.

In an­other blow to the regime, ac­tivists said that Mo­hammed Adnan Arabo, a mem­ber of Syria’s par­lia­ment has left the coun­try and joined the op­po­si­tion. Ah­mad Ra­madan, an ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil mem­ber of the op­po­si­tion Syr­ian Na­tional Coun­cil group, and other ac­tivists said Arabo ar­rived in Turkey on Tues­day.

Ra­madan said the regime’s hold on power is de­te­ri­o­rat­ing.

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