Rebels in Syria said Thursday that they captured a key military base in the town of Mayadeen, meaning that a large chunk of eastern Syria is now overseen by the opposition.
The military base, located near the border with Iraq, is believed to have artillery stockpiles, reported Reuters. Capture of the base comes after rebels made advances in the province of Deir Ezzor, where the base is located.
“The whole countryside, from the Iraqi border and along the Euphrates to the city of Deir Ezzor, is now under rebel control,” Abu Laila, an official with the opposition Military Revolutionary Council, told the news agency.
Activists and a rebel fighter confirmed with The Associated Press that the base had been captured.
On Thursday, Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP that more than 40,000 people have now been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011.
Of that figure, around 28,000 civilians were killed, more than 10,000 regime soldiers were killed, and 1,379 defectors from the military were killed, said Rahman. The figure for civilians includes those who have taken up arms against the regime.
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