Video purports to show Islamist rebels freeing dozens of prisoners from a jail in Idlib, Syria, after an alliance of rebels seize the city. Mana Rabiee reports.
Rebels in Idlib, in northwest Syria, purportedly freeing prisoners from a state-run jail on Sunday ... The rebels are part of an alliance of Islamist fighters who seized the city from government forces over the weekend ... For the rebels it was a major victory. Prisoners kiss their liberators ... said to be fighters from the hard-line Ahrar al-Sham movement. Reuters can't independently verify the video, posted to social media, but a British based monitoring group says more than 50 prisoners were freed including two incarcerated women. The rebel alliance is fighting not only the Syrian government but also Islamic State, a rival in the fight for territory in Syria. More video shows residents rejoicing in the street, many grateful for the safe return home of their fighter sons. By taking Idlib, hardline Islamist insurgents now control a second province in Syria.. with Islamic State already in control of Raqqa province to the north. Idlib is close to the strategic highway that links the capital Damascus to Syria's second city, Aleppo. Both cities are under the control of President Bashar al Assad, the man rebels have been tying to topple for over four years.