ShareThis Page

Syrian rebels grab oil field, storm military base

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 9:18 p.m.

Syrian rebels captured most of an eastern oil field and stormed a military base in the south, anti-regime activists said on Thursday, further chipping away at President Bashar Assad's hold on the country's hinterlands.

Although Assad's regime does not appear on the brink of collapse, rebels seeking his ouster have scored a string of strategic victories over the past week, also seizing a large dam and the defenses around a major airport. These and other blows have shrunk the portion of the country that Assad effectively governs and could deprive his regime of resources necessary for its survival.

Rebels took control of the town of Shadadah along the Euphrates River in eastern Syria, and had seized most of the nearby Jbeysa oil field, one of the country's largest, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The conquests were made after three days of battles.

Videos posted online in the last three days showed dozens of bearded rebels looting a large red building and making off with boots and green munitions boxes. The bodies of a few dead government soldiers lay in the dirt nearby.

“These are Assad's dogs,” one fighter said.

Rebels stormed a small military base near the town of al-Sahwa in the southern province of Daraa, near Jordan. The Observatory said at least four fighters were killed in clashes at the base, which rebels had surrounded and shelled for days before launching their raids.

Videos posted online showed rebels chanting in victory as what they said were destroyed tanks burned and sent up columns of smoke in the distance.

All videos appeared to be genuine and were consistent with other Associated Press reporting.

Rebels clashed again with government soldiers over control of the main airport in the northern city of Aleppo and on the east and south sides of the capital, Damascus, activists said.

On Wednesday, rebels stormed an army base near the Aleppo airport and the adjacent Nerab military airport. The fighting has prevented traffic to the airports for weeks.

Earlier this week, rebels captured the nation's largest dam, a main source of electricity and irrigation for nearby provinces.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.