Friday, December 15, 2017

Syrian rebels seize two bases

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Rebel fighters took over two military bases in Syria after heavy fighting Tuesday, an additional sign that the ragtag force may finally be breaking a weekslong stalemate and making progress in its battle against the government of President Bashar Assad.

In the past week alone, rebels have taken control of about a half-dozen military bases across the country as well as the Tishreen hydroelectric dam near the Turkish border.

Both of the bases taken Tuesday were used by the Syrian air force, one of the deadliest threats to rebel fighters, according to opposition groups. The Syrian military has regularly blasted rebel positions, as well as residential neighborhoods, with jets and helicopters in recent months, killing thousands.

The deadliness of the Syrian military's air power was on bloody display Tuesday after an air raid on an olive press in Idlib province killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens of others, according to the Local Coordination Committees, an activist network.

In a video posted online Tuesday, which reportedly showed one of the captured bases, fighters affiliated with the Free Syrian Army stomped on a bust of Assad's father, Hafez, at the 666th air force battalion base south of Damascus.

The second base, southeast of Aleppo, was overrun by fighters from Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Both are religious extremist groups suspected of having ties to al-Qaida.

Rebels also have had a number of recent successes in shooting down Syrian military aircraft, a possible sign that they have been able to confiscate heavier weaponry after taking over government military bases.

Two helicopters were shot down in Aleppo province Tuesday, according to activists. A video of one of the attacks posted online shows what appears to be a surface-to-air missile slamming into a helicopter in a ball of orange flame.

Comments
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Britain's finance minister in China to promote trade

Britain's finance minister in China to promote trade

Britain's finance minister tells China's premier there are "many opportunities" to expand commercial ties as he starts a visit aimed at developing trade as the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union
Updated: 7 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

The Daystarter: Focus on free speech in colleges; Rays trades may still be coming; Katy Perry tonight in Tampa; remembering ‘The Fight Doctor’

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• A stray shower is possible today as another cold front moves through, according to 10Weather WTSP. Luckily, the front only depresses temperatures into the lower 70s. The week...
Updated: 8 minutes ago

German sex shop company filing for protection from creditors

Sex shop chain Beate Uhse AG says its holding company is filing for bankruptcy restructuring after failing to raise financing from investors and restructure its debts
Updated: 10 minutes ago

UK defense chief says Russia poses risk to undersea cables

The head of Britain's military says Russia could try to sever undersea communications cables, and protecting them is a defense priority for NATO
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Russia to resume flights to Egypt, halted after 2015 bombing

Russia's transportation minister says Moscow will resume flights to Cairo, suspended after 2015 IS bombing
Updated: 15 minutes ago

Luxembourg appeals $295 million EU Amazon ruling

Luxembourg is appealing a European Union decision that it has to claw back some 250 million euros in back taxes from Amazon
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Airbus CEO Enders to step down in 2019 as management shifts

Airbus CEO Enders to step down in 2019 as management shifts

European airplane maker Airbus says chief executive Tom Enders will step down in April 2019
Updated: 17 minutes ago

World Cup downhill training canceled after overnight snow

A women's World Cup downhill training run has been canceled after heavy overnight snowfall
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Workplace romance under spotlight after sex scandals

The minefield that co-workers and companies navigate when it comes to love at work has gotten even more complex following the recent flood of sexual misconduct allegations roiling Hollywood, politics and the media
Updated: 20 minutes ago