Syrian rebels seize major arms depot, government officials deny takeover
An explosion from the arms depot near Homs killed dozens earlier this year (Courtesy of BBC)
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Syrian rebels seized one of the largest arms depots located in the central Homs province Wednesday, according to Agence France-Presse. However, Syrian security officials in Damascus denied the takeover, saying that "fighting was still underway."
The conflicting reports arrive two weeks following various rebel groups' efforts to capture the depot near the town of Mahin in the rural part of Homs. The depot houses one of Syria's largest weapon stockpiles.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, fighters from Al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and Al-Khadraa and Baba Amr Commandos "took over buildings of an army weapons depot near Mahin" and they "seized a large amount of weapons" in the 30-building complex. However, Syrian government officials denied the report saying that, "The battle is continuing, the terrorists did not take any weapons, and there are many losses in their ranks." The Syrian regime often refers to the rebels as "terrorists."
According to the Observatory, more than 50 rebels and 20 government loyalists were killed in clashes Tuesday.
In previous weeks, opposition groups representing "mainstream" rebels and jihadists seized an army position called "Base 66" in the Hama province where they managed to seize a large amount of heavy-duty weapons.
In other parts of Syria, mortar rounds fell near Damascus's Umayyad Square and fighting continued near a power plant outside the city of Aleppo. The Observatory reported that there are fears that the clashes near the plant could lead to "a total blacking in Aleppo city."
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