The Free Syrian Army has taken control of Harem, a town in Idlib province near the border with Turkey, after fighting with Syrian government forces, the rebel group's No. 2 commander, Malik Kurdi, told Efe on Tuesday.

Rebel fighters "liberated" the old section of Harem, the only part of the town still in the hands of forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, on Tuesday morning, the rebel commander said via telephone.

At least one rebel was killed and several Syrian army soldiers died in the fighting, Kurdi said, adding that a general was missing.

Several security forces members surrendered during the fighting, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The fighting for control of Harem lasted more than one month, the opposition group said.

Harem, which was founded in the 10th century, has been occupied by Arab and Turkish forces over its long history since it is a strategic border enclave. EFE