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Syria troops, rebels fight near bases in northeast

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 19, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

— Syrian activists report intense fighting between government troops and rebels trying to tighten their siege of two military bases in the northeast.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees say rebels destroyed at least one tank near the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province on Saturday.

Rebels have been attacking the nearby bases of Wadi Deif and Hamdiyeh for weeks. The Observatory said the rebels are trying to cut roads that supply the two bases.

Besieged government bases are a recent focus of fighting in Syria’s conflict, which according to the U.N. has killed more than 60,000 people since March 2011.

Last week rebels captured the nearby airbase of Taftanaz, dealing a significant blow to President Bashar Assad’s regime.

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