Syrian rebels captured an army base in an eastern oil province on Thursday, further weakening President Bashar al-Assad’s control in the region bordering Iraq.
The capture of the artillery base on the outskirts of Mayadeen, a town on the Euphrates river near some of Syria’s oilfields, followed rebel takeovers of military installations in the north and centre of the country this week.
Rebel momentum shows the rising potency of the Sunni Muslim fighters trying to topple Assad, who belongs to the Alawite minority. But insurgents have often had to retreat after making advances to avoid air force strikes.
“The military base fell at 8.30 am (0630 GMT),” Abu Laila, an official in the Military Revolutionary Council said.