Middle East

Rebels capture village in northwest Syria

Free Syrian Army fighters prepare to fire a locally made launcher towards forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Mork town May 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmad Rif

BEIRUT: Activists say that Syrian rebels have captured a village in northwestern Syria after heavy fighting with government troops.

The anti-regime Local Coordination Committees activist group said the rebels seized the village of Tal Meleh in Hama province Sunday, killing "large numbers" of President Bashar Assad's forces.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 18 pro-government troops and two rebels were killed in the fighting in Tal Meleh.

Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman said the village had changed hands several times over the course of the Syrian conflict, now in its fourth year.

A series of videos obtained by The Daily Star Sunday purportedly showed the Islamic Front seizing a BMB tank and other heavy artillery belonging to the regime forces.

In one video, rebels are seen burning the tank after “having freed Tal Meleh checkpoint.”

“Tal Meleh village has been completely liberated by the heroes of the Islamic Front, Allahu Akbar [God is Greatest]!” the video adds.

The same video shows a bearded rebel driving a truck and identifying himself as a fighter from the Islamic Font’s Al-Khattab brigade saying that the village “has been freed, a BMB has been destroyed, a 72-model tank and some ammunition seized and all the Shabbiha killed.”





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