Rebel fighters overtook a military base in eastern Syria, seizing control of an artillery battalion in the latest in a string of recent victories in the region, opposition activists said Thursday. Videos spread online show fighters celebrating as smoke rises from an imposing building in the distance.
The reported takeover cements the rebels’ hold on a stretch of the country bordering Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition group based in Britain. It called the nearby town of Mayadin “the last regime stronghold” in Dair Alzour province.
The Dair Alzour region is also rich in oil, making control a potential financial windfall for the rebels. Opposition forces have captured at least two of the three major oilfields, McClatchy reported Wednesday.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency had no immediate reports of a takeover in Dair Alzour on its English website. It reported armed forces inflicted heavy losses on “terrorists” in the same region Thursday.