Al Qaeda-linked jihadists seize two strategic bases from Syrian army

The Syrian army on Monday lost control of two strategic bases in the northwestern province of Idlib to co-ordinated assaults by Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Al-Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate, seized Hamidiyeh and Wadi al-Deif bases in the biggest regime positions of Idlib in tandem with Islamist rebels from Jund al-Aqsa and Ahrar al-Sham.

The captures came a day after the groups took over seven government checkpoints in the area.

The Al-Nusra Front initially reported a lightning victory in Wadi al-Deif, putting large swathes of Idlib province, which borders Turkey, under jihadist control.