Free Press Journal

Syria: Rebels lose ground at southern airbase


Damascus Government forces have wrested back control of part of al-Thaala military airport in southern Syria from rebels after air force jets pounded the base, a monitor said on Friday.

The air raids forced Southern Front alliance rebels to abandon areas of the airport they had seized from government forces a day earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on its Facebook page, citing activists.

Druze-majority Sweida province, where al-Thaala is located, has been spared much of the fighting in Syria and remains almost entirely under government control.

Many soldiers withdrew to al-Thaala after the Southern Front alliance on Wednesday overran the 52nd Brigade base in neighbouring Deraa province, SOHR said.

Southern Front rebels shot down a warplane in the border region between Sweida and neighbouring Deraa province, Sweida’s provincial Governor Atef Al Nadaf was quoted as telling Syrian state television on Thursday. An investigation into the incident was underway, Nadaf said.

The state TV report denied claims that “terrorist” groups had occupied al-Thaala. The Southern Front alliance is made up of 55 moderate and extremist rebel groups.