Rebels seize airport as Syria dead nears 70,000
Published on Feb 13, 2013 5:59 AM
DAMASCUS (AFP) - Rebels on Tuesday overran a military air base and captured warplanes, gaining ground in northern Syria for a second straight day as the UN said the death toll from the 23-month conflict was nearly 70,000.
The military advance came as prospects for a political solution to the war faded and as United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki Moon urged President Bashar al-Assad's regime to accept an opposition leader's dialogue offer.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels captured a military airport at Al-Jarrah in Aleppo province, seizing for the first time a fleet of warplanes including MiG fighters.
During the assault, the rebels killed, injured or imprisoned dozens of troops, the watchdog said, adding withdrawing troops also left behind ammunition.
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