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Syrian rebels take 256 army prisoners, Al Jazeera reports

Rebels release video to Al Jazeera that shows 256 Syrian government army prisoners from Idlib.

Aleppo syria protest 10 12 2012Enlarge
A Syrian boy holds the gun of a Syrian rebel fighter during a protest against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in the northern city of Aleppo on October 12, 2012. (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian rebels released video today that claims to show they’ve captured 256 government troops in Idlib, Al Jazeera reported.

The network couldn’t verify the identity of the prisoners or the veracity of the video, which it didn’t post online.

“All we know is that these prisoners are from Az Zainiyeh,” reporter Anita McNaught said at Aljazeera.com.

“Az Zainiyeh was where the Syrian army forces had withdrawn after opposition fighters had driven them out of the villages in that part of Idlib.”

Rebels might have captured the prisoners three days ago when fighting broke out in Az Zainiyeh, McNaught said.

The claims come a day after rebels captured an air defence base.

More from GlobalPost: Syrian conflict continues to spill into Turkey

Rebels fought for control of a base east of Aleppo on Friday and a military barracks along the highway from Syria’s second-largest city to the Turkish border, according to Reuters.

Today, the rebels clashed with reinforcements headed into the area, AFP said.

The Free Syrian Army sent back reinforcements heading for Maaret al-Numan where the barracks was located.

However, Syrian jets bombed the town, killing two civilians and destroying three homes, AFP reported.

The army sent tanks, 40 military vehicles and troops in an effort to recapture Maaret al-Numan, which has been under rebel control since Tuesday.

“The rebels tried again to storm the Wadi Deif army base (on Saturday) ... when they were bombarded by a MiG fighter jet,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Army shelling focused on an underground field hospital injured about 20 rebels as residents fled, the news agency reported.

The 19-month civil war to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad has killed more than 33,000 people, according to new Observatory estimates.

More than two-thirds are civilians and rebel fighters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/121013/syrian-rebels-take-256-army-prisoners-al-jazeera-repo