Syrian rebel fighters said Friday they have captured a strategic northern military base used by the government to bomb opposition strongholds.
Rebel fighters and militants from various Islamic groups, including the jihadist al-Nusra Front, took part in the offensive, an opposition spokesman said.
They've seized control of buildings, ammunition and military equipment at the base in Idlib province, the opposition said, signaling a major blow to President Bashar al-Assad's forces.
"They are taking credit now for having taken the air base," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Friday. "And, as you know, we consider this significant on two fronts.
"First of all, to ground some of the air assets of the Assad regime that they've been using against civilians. And, secondly, to break their ability to resupply in the north."
The strategic base has been used by government forces to send explosives to areas in the north, according to the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In addition to housing about government 400 soldiers, the group said, warplanes that attack the region were taking off from there.
"The Taftanaz air base has been completely liberated," said Hamza Abu Hussam, a spokesman for the Binnish Coordination Committee, a local opposition group. "I went down to see with my own eyes and was able to get in."
In a video posted on YouTube, opposition forces from various groups cheer and chant "God is great," purportedly after they took over the military airport.
CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video.
Brahimi: No military solution
The U.N. and Arab League special envoy to Syria stressed Friday that there is "no military solution" to the brutal civil war being fought in the Arab nation.
Lakhdar Brahimi made the remark after meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland.
"We are all very, very deeply aware of the immense suffering of the Syrian people which has gone for far too long. And we all stressed the need for a speedy end to bloodshed, the destruction, and all forms violence in Syria," he said. "We stressed again, in our view, there is no military solution to this conflict."
Syria accused Brahimi of bias Thursday, casting a shadow on efforts to end a war that, according to the United Nations, has killed more than 60,000 people in nearly two years.
Brahimi has "deviated from the essence of his mission and clearly unveiled his bias to circles known for conspiring against Syria and the interests of the Syrian people," Syrian state media reported.
The statement from Damascus was a response to a BBC interview in which Brahimi in effect called on al-Assad to resign. He said the president would have no place in the transition to a post-conflict Syria.
"I think what people are saying is, a family ruling for 40 years is a little bit too long," Brahimi said, according to the interview Thursday.
Al-Assad took over from his late father, who seized power in 1970 and ruled for three decades.
Brahimi said both the United States and Russia want to help end the war and forge a future. The United States long has called for al-Assad to resign. Russia, which historically has had close ties with Syria, has blocked tough action against the government in the U.N. Security Council.