BEIRUT - Syrian rebels captured an ammunition depot north of Damascus from President Bashar Assad's forces on Saturday, activists said, seizing a hoard of anti-tank missiles and rockets which will strengthen their firepower after a string of defeats.
Video footage of the raid showed delighted rebel fighters carrying out boxes of weapons from the arms cache in Denha, near the town of Yabroud, following an overnight attack.Still largely outgunned by Assad's forces, who have gained ground around the capital Damascus and Syria's third largest city Homs, the rebels have sought arms to tip the balance of power in the two-year conflict that has killed at least 100,000.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have sent weapons, although Western nations have not, and the rebels have also acquired a steady supply of weaponry, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, through their own raids on military bases.
One video released last week showed rebel fighters firing what appeared to be a vehicle-borne anti-aircraft missile system captured from the army several months ago.
Saturday's raid yielded French-made Milan anti-tank missiles, Russian Konkurs missiles and Grad rockets, according to video footage which showed the victorious rebels carrying off their haul through the dark corridors of the captured complex.
"Our return to Qusair just got closer," shouted one fighter, referring to the former rebel stronghold and border town which was captured two months ago by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas allied to Assad.