DHAKA: Rebels on Thursday launched an assault on Wadi Daif, one of the few army bases in northwestern Syria still in the hands of loyalist forces, as they tightened their control of provinces bordering Turkey.
The assault came as Spain announced it had recognised the Syrian National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, boosting the opposition`s bid to win wide support for its campaign to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
Several rebel brigades joined forces for the attack on the fortress-like base in Idlib province, while the army responded with heavy fire and shelling, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, reports daily Hurriyet.
Rebel fighters who control vast swathes of territory in north and northwestern Syria have made significant gains in past days, including for the first time shooting down regime attack aircraft with surface-to-air missiles.
Analysts said the use by the rebels of the advanced weaponry marked a potential turning point in their prolonged war with forces of President Bashar al-Assad, in which more than 40,000 people have died according to a count by the Britain-based Observatory.
As the battle for the army base raged, regime warplanes shelled rebel positions around Tishrin dam in northern Aleppo province, which was captured by the insurgents earlier in the week, the Observatory said.
Assad`s forces also launched air strikes on rebel positions in orchards extending from Kfar Sousa district in the southwest of Damascus province to Daraya, further away from the city limits, the watchdog said.
BDST: 1814 HRS, NOV 29, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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