Militants murder 56 soldiers in northwest Syria

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows a unit of the Syrian armed forces taking position during a patrol near Al-Manashir roundabout in Jobar in the outskirts of Damascus on July 14, 2013 (AFP Photo / SANA) / AFP

Foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants have executed tens of Syrian government soldiers at an air base they captured from the army earlier this month in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said on Saturday that al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front terrorists and militants from allied extremist groups shot dead 56 Syrian troopers at the Abu al-Duhur military airport, located about 45 kilometers (27 miles) southeast of Aleppo, a few days ago.

Nusra Front Takfiris and allied terrorists reportedly overran Abu al-Duhur air base on September 9.

Syria’s counter-terror operations

The report comes as Syrian army soldiers have launched an operation in the country’s western province of Latakia, killing a large number of foreign-backed militants.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 80 militants were killed and seven vehicles destroyed as Syrian troopers raided a gathering of Takfiri militants at an air base near Latakia, located 348 kilometers (216 miles) northwest of the capital, Damascus, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

The source added that Syrian soldiers also destroyed three vehicles that had heavy machine guns mounted on during an offensive in Dara’a al-Balad area of the southwestern Syrian city of Dara’a, located about 114 kilometers (70 miles) south of the capital.

The foreign-sponsored conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed more than 240,000 lives up until now, according to reports.

The United Nations says the militancy has displaced more than 7.2 million Syrians internally, and compelled over four million others to take refuge in neighboring countries, including Jordan and Lebanon.

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