DAMASCUS (Press Shia) – Syrian security forces have discovered three mass graves containing the bodies of dozens of people brutally murdered by al-Nusra terrorists inside the strategic military airbase of Abu al-Duhur in the northwestern province of Idlib.

So far, at least 45 bodies have been unearthed and the victims are mainly from the Syrian servicemen who were in charge of safeguarding the airbase, according to Press Shia dispatches.

A local official said the search is underway to recover more bodies from the graves, adding that the bodies of the victims have been transferred to the forensic medicine department in Hama for identification.

On January 21, Syrian forces liberated the Abu al-Duhur, wresting full control over the key airbase after flushing out the terrorists of al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri group, previously known as al-Nusra Front, from the area.

“After a string of special operations, units from our armed forces in coordination with allied fighters succeeded in their military operation and took control of the Abu Duhur military airport in Idlib province,” read a statement released by the Syrian army.

The important airbase was seized by the Takfiri group on September 2015, some three years after foreign-backed militants laid siege to it.

“Engineering units are now dismantling and clearing mines, explosives, and bombs planted by terrorists in the area,” the statement further said.