ISIS seizes military air base cementing its control over Raqa province in Syria

AFP reports: Jihadists from the Islamic State group have seized the Tabqa military airport, the last remaining Syrian army base in northern Raqa province, a monitoring group and state media said Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were still clashes taking place on the outskirts of the airport, but that it was under control of the militants.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the bodies of “dozens” of Syrian troops killed in the battle for the airport were still inside the facility.

Syrian state television, meanwhile, said troops had staged an “evacuation” of the airport after heavy fighting.

“After heavy fighting by the forces defending the Tabqa airport, our forces implemented a regrouping operation after the evacuation of the airport,” state television said in a breaking news alert.

It added that troops were launching “precision strikes” against “terrorist groups” in the area, inflicting heavy losses.

The capture came after IS fighters launched a fourth assault on Tabqa overnight, in a bid to cement their control over Raqa province. [Continue reading…]

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