Syrian rebels, fighting alongside Islamist militants, captured a regime air defense base near Aleppo today after an overnight battle, Haaretz reports. The group, dubbed Jabhat al-Nusra, has ties to al-Qaeda, and has claimed responsibility for a number of bombings since the uprising began. Rebels were also fighting today to hold Syria's main northeastern highway, Reuters reports, while the government launched air strikes and artillery attacks in Homs. In other Syria news:
- Yesterday was reportedly the bloodiest yet for regime forces, with as many as 92 soldiers killed. It was a fairly bloody day for everyone else as well, with more than 260 estimated killed nationwide.
- France has revealed that two of the 12 Islamists it arrested last weekend were allegedly planning to join jihadist groups in Syria, the New York Times reports. The incident echoes Britain's arrest of two alleged extremists who had helped the rebels.
- The Syrian regime is vigorously denying Turkey's accusation that there was Russian-made weaponry hidden aboard a passenger plane intercepted yesterday, the BBC reports. They said Turkey had invented the weapons "to justify his government's hostile attitude towards Syria." He called on Turkey to produce the weapons. Russia has denied the report as well, and is pressing Turkey for details, the New York Times reports.
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