Syrian rebels have been forced to withdraw from Taftanaz military airbase in northwestern Idlib province, which was captured on Friday, but a commander of the fighting forces has said they managed to take many weapons with them.

Abu Hasan, a commander of Jabhat-al-Nusra, a group taking part in the capture of the base, told Al Jazeera that the weapons fighters seized will be a "game-changer" for the rebels.

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"These weapons will benefit us a lot in our work on the ground," he said. "And by God's will, we will capture more places like that one. They will have great importance on the battlefield."

The US State Department has branded Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation, citing the group's alleged links to al-Qaeda.

Responding to the allegations, Abu Hasan said: "We serve our religion in any way possible. If America was serving the religion of Allah and establishing the law of God, we would be American.

"If al-Qaeda works to establish law and justice among the people, and spreads religion in the country, then we are with al-Qaeda."

Source: Al Jazeera