Syrian troops fought intense battles yesterday against rebels trying to capture two military bases in the north-west of the country and step up their attacks on army compounds elsewhere in the nation, activists said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Co-ordination Committees said the rebels destroyed at least one tank near the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. The rebels, who have been battling for weeks to take control of bases in Wadi Deif and Hamdiyeh, are working to cut off supply routes to the compounds.

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