Syrian rebels said on Monday that they had full control of areas linking two key northern provinces, which will ease movement of supplies near the Turkish border area.

“Controlling the Sheikh Suleiman base enabled our rebels to control the area that links Idlib and Aleppo province, thus opening more roads for supplies,” rebel commander Abu Omar al-Halabi told DPA.

Rebels claimed on Sunday to have seized the Sheikh Suleiman army base, which stretches over around two square kilometres of rocky hills and is about 25 kilometres from Aleppo city.

They said they confiscated a large amount of heavy and medium weapons and detained dozens of army personnel.

Battles continued near the Damascus airport and areas on the outskirts of the capital, but no major advances were reported for both sides, activists said.

Meanwhile, nine judges and prosecutors have defected to the opposition in the latest setback for the regime, activists said.

The head of Syria’s main opposition group, Moaz al-Khatib, is scheduled to meet on Monday in Brussels with European Union foreign ministers to discuss the civil war.

More In: International | News