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Jihadis capture army base in northwestern Syria after a day of intense fighting

  • This Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 photo provided by the anti-government activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Jihadi fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other rebel factions, rest after clashes with Syrian troops in Wadi Deif in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria. Jihadi fighters captured a Syrian army base Monday in the northwestern province of Idlib after two days of intense fighting that killed at least two dozen gunmen, activists said. (AP Photo/Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)

    This Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 photo provided by the anti-government activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Jihadi fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other rebel factions, rest after clashes with Syrian troops in Wadi Deif in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria. Jihadi fighters captured a Syrian army base Monday in the northwestern province of Idlib after two days of intense fighting that killed at least two dozen gunmen, activists said. (AP Photo/Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)  (The Associated Press)

  • This Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 photo provided by the anti-government activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Jihadi fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other rebel factions, rest after clashes with Syrian troops in Wadi Deif in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria. Jihadi fighters captured a Syrian army base Monday in the northwestern province of Idlib after two days of intense fighting that killed at least two dozen gunmen, activists said. (AP Photo/Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)

    This Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014 photo provided by the anti-government activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Jihadi fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other rebel factions, rest after clashes with Syrian troops in Wadi Deif in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria. Jihadi fighters captured a Syrian army base Monday in the northwestern province of Idlib after two days of intense fighting that killed at least two dozen gunmen, activists said. (AP Photo/Syrian Observatory for Human Rights)  (The Associated Press)

Activists say jihadi fighters have captured a Syrian army base in the northwestern province of Idlib after two days of fighting.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and an Idlib-based activist Mohammed al-Sayid say members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other rebel factions captured the Wadi Deif base Monday morning.

The capture came a day after rebels and Nusra Front fighters took over seven government checkpoints around Wadi Deir and the nearby base of Hamidiyeh.

The Wadi Deif and Hamidiyeh bases outside the town of Maaret al-Numan have long been prized targets for the rebels, who have launched multiple sieges since 2012.

The Observatory said that at least 15 pro-government troops and eight opposition fighters have been killed in the clashes on Sunday alone.