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Jihadists with the Al-Qaeda affiliate known as the Al-Nusra Front took control of several villages in Syria’s Idlib province over the weekend and reportedly seized weapons from Western-backed moderate rebel groups.

Upwards of 80 American-made TOW anti-tank missiles reportedly were captured by Al-Qaed-linked fighters in Syria after Western-supported opposition groups were overrun or defected to Al-Nusra Front

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that Al-Nusra fighters were successful with weekend advances that earned them control of the town of Khan Al-Sobol, as well as “most of the towns and villages of Al-Zaweyi Mountain in the countryside of Idlib,” citing unnamed sources described by the Observatory as reliable and trusted.

In addition to seizing the town of Khan Al-Sobol, the Al-Qaeda linked extremist group has also allegedly taken control over M’arshorin, M’sran, Dadikh, KafarBatikh and Kafruma, per the Observatory’s reporting, “where the Islamic battalions and Hazm are located.”

According to an article published late Sunday by the Washington Post, rebel commanders, activists and analysts in Syria corroborated reports that moderate rebels “either surrendered or defected” to Al-Nusra over the weekend upon the group’s advance, with area residents adding to the paper that the defeated groups handed over their weapons. This could be a serious blow to the Obama administration’s effort to create a significant opposition force capable of fighting the so-called Islamic State and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces. The US planned to arm and train at least 5,000 fighters from CIA-vetted moderate groups; however, the latest setback may complicate American efforts.

Read more at RT News

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