Syrian rebels take over major army base in Deraa

9 June 2015 (Last Updated June 9th, 2015 18:30)

Rebel fighters from the Southern Front alliance have reportedly taken control of a major Syrian Army base in the southern province of Daraa.

Rebel fighters from the Southern Front alliance have reportedly taken control of a major Syrian Army base in the southern province of Daraa.

Approximately 20,000 rebel fighters launched the assault to capture Brigade 52 outside the town of al-Harak, located along Syria's southern border with Jordan.

Southern Front spokesman Issam al-Rayyes said: "In under six hours today, the Free Syrian Army's Southern Front successfully completed an operation to liberate Brigade 52.

"This is the last regime-held area to fall in eastern Daraa, and acted as a reinforcement base to support regime airbases in Sweida."

The rebels reportedly fired more than 100 missiles at the base during the assault.

"This is the last regime-held area to fall in eastern Daraa, and acted as a reinforcement base to support regime airbases in Sweida."

The Syrian officials are yet to comment on the base capture. However, Syrian state TV SANA previously reported that the regime forces had repelled an attempt by a 'terrorist group' to infiltrate a military installation, and the air force was conducting airstrikes in the area.

Rayyes noted that the offensive killed at least 67 government troops, including seven officers, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), stated that 14 rebels and 20 regime soldiers died in the day-long battle.

According to the UK-based SOHR, the rebels have also seized the towns of al-Rakham, and al-Meleha al-Gharbia near al-Herak, while regime forces retreated to the nearby village of al-Dara.

An alliance of several rebel groups who allegedly received support from foreign states seeking fall of the Assad regime, the Southern Front took control of the north-western provincial capital of Idlib, and the Nasib border crossing into Jordan in April this year.

According to media reports, the alliance has been coordinating operations against Bashar al-Assad from a joint command centre in Jordan.