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'Jihadists capture Syria air base'

Jihadist fighters linked to al Qaida fought with rebels to capture a Syrian military air defence base near Aleppo, reports say.

Videos posted online today apparently shot inside the base say Jabhat al-Nusra took part in the overnight battle for the base. The videos show fighters inspecting lines of large missiles.

Two Aleppo-based activists and Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, also say Jabhat al-Nusra fought in the battle.

The base's capture is sure to fuel fears that Islamic extremists are playing a greater role after nearly 19 months of unrest in Syria.

Western powers say their presence is a reason not to arm the rebels.

Syrian opposition activists estimate more than 32,000 people have been killed since March 2011 when the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began.


From Belfast Telegraph