Rebels Overrun Largest Military Airbase in North Syria

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Rebels Friday overran Taftanaz airbase in north Syria, a watchdog said, marking a significant advance

"The fighting at Taftanaz military airport ended at 11:00 am (0900 GMT) and the base is entirely in rebel hands," said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.

The base soon thereafter, however, came under aerial attack by government fighter jets, the Britain-based Observatory said in a later statement.

"Warplanes are bombing Taftanaz military airport in an attempt to destroy it," it said.

The capture of the base marks an important advance for the rebels, who control vast swathes of Syria's north and east and are battling President Bashar Assad's forces in most major cities, including on the outskirts of Damascus.

"This is the largest airbase to be seized since the revolt began" nearly 22 months ago, Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse by phone.

The rebels have previously taken control of the relatively small Hamdan airport in Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border in the east, and the Marj al-Sultan military airport in Damascus province.

The assault on Taftanaz was led by jihadist fighters from the a-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and Islamic Vanguard battalions, as well as other rebel groups, the Observatory said.

Many soldiers and officers fled the base at dawn, while the total number of casualties for each side was not immediately known.

The rebels seized several military vehicles and a major weapons depot.

Government forces, however, managed to pull out most of the 60 helicopters deployed at the airbase, leaving behind 20 choppers that are no longer in working condition, the Observatory said.

The U.N. estimates more than 60,000 people have died since the outbreak of the revolt against Assad's regime in March 2011.

Comments 35
Missing mohammad_ca 11 January 2013, 12:21

Go Free Syrian Army Go!

Missing mohammad_ca 11 January 2013, 14:56

keep barking, they have a country to liberate.

Missing mohammad_ca 11 January 2013, 15:26

yes that is why most of the northern borders and cities are now with the revolutionaries right? go watch dunya and almanar...

Missing anonymetexasusa 11 January 2013, 18:51

Mohamed-ca
Don't u read, it is not FSA, it is the Takfiri fanatic groups.
Big difference. I wish they were FSA.

Thumb bigsami 11 January 2013, 19:18

Yes there is a difference BUT same accomplishment/goal.

Missing anonymetexasusa 11 January 2013, 18:58

The roar
This tactic is working so brillantly that they are spreading its use to other infected regions.
Watch Mali, the fanatic Takfiri of North Africa who were ravaging the area, have been drawn to North Mali were they are now sitting in the middle of the desert exposed for attack and nowhere to flee...perfect trap.

Thumb bigsami 11 January 2013, 19:16

Atta boy mohammad...yes GO FSA! Slowly but SURELY cleaning house! Through the FSA's sacrifices....Lebanon will be freed as well from the tyrants/terrorists HA!

As to comments from the ignorant "the_BORE" below....go back to your herd of goats! Your a clueless bum!

Thumb bigsami 11 January 2013, 23:44

"hizbcocaine supporter, or maybe FT the inbreed boty under another nick'.....LMAO TF

Missing mohammad_ca 11 January 2013, 20:03

so by your logic there were over 60,000 "terrorists" in Syria that magically decided to all wake up? the only terrorists are ASSad, nasrocrap and their thugs, and they re the ones that are being killed like today's attack on the military convoy going to meet ASSad...keep watching dunya though, you are going to be SO informed!

Missing bigjohn 11 January 2013, 22:01

These rebels are not the Free Syrian Army (the FSA is controlled by KSA and the West). They are Jihadists made up of mostly thousands of foreign fighters. The largest by far is the NUSRA front, which Zionist America put them on the "terrorist list" because America does not control them. The Syrian Army backed by over 100,000 Baathist militias from ALL SECTS (and especially the non-Sunni minorities) are strengthening their positions around the country and purposely weakening their positions in the Aleppo/Idlib area. It is in the regime's interest to loose areas to the Al-qaida linked groups than to the FSA. America and the West prefer the Asad's who have kept the Golan Heights quiet for Israel than the Rebels. They just want to see Arab blood spilled.

Missing bigjohn 11 January 2013, 22:19

My internet keeps on getting stuck, then it (sometimes) prints several times. Is it because I am in Lebanon or I have lousy connections?

Missing realist 11 January 2013, 22:02

It is a war between iran and the sunis, what's your stupid point? Gone r the days when sunis dont shoot back, your syrian regime exchanged 2000 syrian heroes including women for 48 iranians, isnt that evidence that it is a war between iran and suni arabs?

Thumb geha 11 January 2013, 12:23

good job.

Thumb bigsami 11 January 2013, 19:17

Shut up.....you are truly the_BORE! AKA Farsi BSThrower. Sell you manure elsewhere.

Missing christie 11 January 2013, 12:34

good job? do you support religious extremism? do you want syria under sharia law? do you want ethnic cleansing and the genocide of syria's minorities?

Thumb geha 11 January 2013, 12:51

what I support is the downfall of this murderous regime.

Missing peace 11 January 2013, 14:56

first priority is to oust bashar and the dictatorial baath party that did more harm to lebanon than any other country. then if salafis take power it will be another fight... but stop being frightened as M8 wants you to! they want to preserve bashar and his clique that is why they frighten lebanese with sharia laws and wahabi regime!

but if it happens then if will be another combat :) every thing in its time !

Thumb LEBhasNOhope 11 January 2013, 16:35

Agreed. What's to come cannot possibly be worse than what has palgued us for the last 40 years.

Missing bigjohn 11 January 2013, 22:10

"will be another combat"??? did the M14 forces fought bravely in 2005 and kicked out the Syrian Army? The Jihadists do not pay attention to any political or economic pressure in Lebanon or anywhere else like the Syrian government did in 2005! Be careful what you wish for (and this is not coming from M8).

Missing raptor 11 January 2013, 19:10

Just like you support the Shia militia who follows the mullahs of Iran lady. Keep your words to itself because you are shooting yourself in the foot. You are supporting a regime that raped Lebanon for over 30 yrs, killed thousands and destroyed us. Shame on u!

Thumb jcamerican 11 January 2013, 14:59

I am amazed no syrians are making comments here, only lebanese cheerleaders.

Missing raptor 11 January 2013, 19:15

Maybe because they are too busy running away from ur murdering idol. Jcamerican. How come you have the name of the great Satan in ur alias? Didn't Hassan and bashar teach ypu that the west is evil? Hypocrit.

Thumb jcamerican 11 January 2013, 19:39

Don't make me pluck your feathers. Your answer should have been, I represent the rebels and the others Bashar so no need for the Syrians. Look you dropped your baton and pompons.

Missing shikonireh 11 January 2013, 15:33

Nicely done fsa. Ya abtal.

Missing anonymetexasusa 11 January 2013, 19:05

Again read carefully
It is not FSA, it is the fanatic takfiri gang.
Everyone wish they were FSA.
Have you read the article about their fanatic shariaa courts that these takfiri gangs have been installing in areas under their control.
FSA on other hand have installed secular councils and courts in their areas.

Missing shikonireh 11 January 2013, 15:34

B2sm el allah el rahman el rahim

Missing canadianadam 11 January 2013, 15:34

Al Kafi said it best. Karim and Roar need to go pay your energy bills.

Thumb lebanon_first 11 January 2013, 16:58

yep. solar energy is being promoted. (you can produce solar energy and EDL will buy it from you) But without state subsidies (like in the west), it makes no commercial sense yet, hence the lack of enthousiasm. When the barrel of Brent reaches 150, it will be another story.

Thumb bigsami 11 January 2013, 19:20

Ha ha ha.....the Bore and the whore joining forces....LMAO. Then again they are one the same.....FARSI BSThrower!

Missing raptor 11 January 2013, 19:13

Don't worry Karim ur great leader aoun said it will be over on Thursday in the year 2011, he is getting into his delorian with doc and will travel back in time to watch it all end!

Missing roger 11 January 2013, 19:40

If you live in Dahiyeh you dont pay your energy bill it's common knowledge in Lebanon and it's true.

Missing rudy 11 January 2013, 20:58

Nah man dont stop. Im always on this forum reading mostly all comments. But i only comment when i see something interesting. Just ignore karim, jabal, and the likes, steer away from their comments and you should be fine :p

Thumb shab 11 January 2013, 21:39

More popcorn please, the show is about to start

Missing realist 11 January 2013, 22:10

This is a major goal in the regime net, the largest airport in the north with dozens of helicopters is not a small matter. M8 die in ur anger, you are criminals who kill syrian children.

Thumb liefighter 12 January 2013, 12:37

Just like rats