Smoke billows following a reported attack on a tunnel used by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Foua in Idlib province on August 10, 2015
Smoke billows following a reported attack on a tunnel used by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Foua in Idlib province on August 10, 2015 © Omar Haj Kadour - AFP/File
Smoke billows following a reported attack on a tunnel used by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Foua in Idlib province on August 10, 2015
AFP
Last updated: August 29, 2015

Al Qaeda-led forces advance on Syria airbase: monitor

Syria's Al-Qaeda offshoot and other rebel groups advanced Friday towards a military airport that is the last remaining government-held facility in the northwestern province of Idlib, a monitor said.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front and other Islamist groups "seized the entrance" to the Abu Duhur airport after carrying out several suicide bombings on motorbikes and "seizing several positions on its outskirts," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

State television said the army had "killed a large number of Al-Nusra terrorists and destroyed their arms and equipment" at the facility.

The Britain-based Observatory said air strikes were launched in response to the onslaught, and that 16 soldiers and 18 rebels were killed in the fighting.

The so-called "Army of Conquest," a collection of Islamist and jihadist forces, captured the Idlib provincial capital in March and has since driven Syria's military from most of the province.

In Damascus, state television said two people had been killed and seven wounded in rebel rocket fire on the capital.

The Observatory also reported the rocket fire on several parts of the city.

Rebel forces on the outskirts of Damascus, particularly in the Eastern Ghouta region, regularly fire rockets into Damascus.

Rights groups have criticised this fire as a war crime because it is indiscriminate and often kills civilians.

The army carries out regular air raids against Eastern Ghouta, often killing dozens of civilians.

The town of Douma has been particularly hard hit by the government strikes, and rights groups have also accused the regime of committing war crimes with its raids on the region.

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