23 Nov 2012

Rebels claim control in eastern Syria

5:58 am on 23 November 2012

Rebels in Syria claim to have taken control of a strategic oil region in the east of the country.

They say they have captured a military base in the town of Mayadeen and now control the area between the city of Deir Ezzor and the Iraq border.

On Thursday morning, opposition groups said the Mayadeen military base had fallen under its control at 08.30am after a siege lasting 22 days.

The BBC reports the government has not commented on the loss of the base.

If the reports are confirmed, the rebels will now be in control of a large area of the Euphrates valley, from the Iraqi border to the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor.

The base is approximately 42km south-east of the city

A military airport near the Iraqi border was captured last week. However, the rebels are yet to take a major city from government forces.