"(Reuters) - Syrian rebels captured an army artillery base in the eastern oil producing province of Deir al-Zor on Thursday, weakening President Bashar al-Assad's control of the strategic region bordering Iraq, several opposition sources said.
"The Mayadeen military base fell at 8.30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. Eastern Time)," Abu
Laila, an official in the Military Revolutionary Council in the province, told
Reuters. He said 44 rebel fighters had been killed in the siege of the
"The whole countryside, from the Iraqi border and along the Euphrates to the
city of Deir al-Zor, is now under rebel control."
Another opposition source in contact with rebels confirmed that the base, 42
km (26 miles) south-east of the city of Deir al-Zor, had fallen.
The capture of the base follows that of a military airport 80 km (50 miles)
to the south-east on the Iraqi border last week. Rebels have stormed several
bases in the north and center of the country, indicating growing military
strength, according to opposition sources and diplomats......"