Assad's forces break rebel blockade in north Syria

By REUTERS
April 15, 2013 13:45

 
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BEIRUT - Syrian government troops have broken through a six-month rebel blockade in northern Syria and are now fighting to recapture a vital highway, opposition and state media said on Monday.

Rebels had kept the army bottled up in the Wadi Deif and Hamidiya military bases in Idlib province. But on Sunday, President Bashar Assad's forces outflanked the rebels and broke through, the pro-government Baath newspaper said.

The insurgents counter-attacked on Monday but their front has been weakened in recent weeks due to infighting and the deployment of forces to other battles, activists said.

The break-out from the bases, located outside Maarat Nuaman town, may enable the army to recapture the main route into Aleppo, Syria's largest city, and bolster their fragile supply lines in the heart of the rebel-held north.

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