al-Nusra Front Syria
Fighters from al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra stand among destroyed buildings south of Damascus. The Syrian civil war, started in 2011, has pitted forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad against rebels, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.Rami Al-Sayed/ AFP/Getty Images

Around 100 Syrian soldiers and 80 Islamist fighters have been killed during a two-day battle in which insurgents took control of two key bases in the Idilib Governorate, south-western Syria.

According to UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, insurgents from al-Qaeda's Syria wing, the Nusra Front, attacked the Wadi al-Deif military base on Sunday.

In a battle lasting two days, the insurgents managed to capture the base after the army had repelled various attacks in the past two years.

Shortly after, Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa groups joined Nusra in another battle after which they took control of the nearby Hamidiya base.

The Syrian civil war erupted in 2011 and pitted forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad against rebels, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

According to latest estimates, at least 191,000 people have been killed in the conflict while millions have fled their homes.

It is estimated that 6.5 million Syrians are internally displaced; of these, half are children.