At Least 180 Killed in al-Qaeda Offensive Against Syrian Troops

Nusra Also Captured Around 120 Soldiers

At least 180 fighters, including 100 Syrian soldiers and 80 members of al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra were killed in a 24 hour span yesterday, as Nusra pushed into key military bases in Idlib Province.

The Nusra offensive led to the capture of bases on the outskirts of Maaret al-Numaan, a strategic town along the main north-south highway in Syria, which connects Aleppo and Damascus.

A significant fight was reported for the capture of the bases, but it was only today that reports began to emerge of how large a death toll there actually was. It may continue to rise, as Nusra also reportedly captured 120 other soldiers trying to flee.

Maaret al-Numaan was a major contested site earlier in the civil war, but it was eventually retaken by the Syrian military. With Syrian forces nearly surrounding Aleppo, the loss of the town could make it harder for them to reinforce from the south.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.