Syria's army has captured a strategic town in the northern part of the country believed to be the home of a chemical weapons production facility and storage sites, state TV and opposition activists say.

The town of Safira has been the scene of three weeks of intense fighting as the army kept trying to retake it from rebels who have been in control there for more than a year.

Although unconfirmed, Safira is believed to be one of two sites that chemical weapons inspectors were unable to visit because of security concerns.

The town is also strategic as a supply route for Syrian government forces in the contested city of Aleppo.

Syrian activists in Aleppo province confirmed Friday that rebels withdrew from Safira overnight under heavy fire, leaving it to government troops.