Syrian Army Takes Control of IS-held Airbase

Syria’s army has taken control of an airbase in eastern Aleppo from Islamic State militants.

The army had been battling the jihadists for several months, but finally succeeded Saturday in taking control of the Jarrah airbase.

“The majority of the jihadists have withdrawn and regime forces are carrying out clearing operations in the airport and engaged in limited clashes with remaining IS elements,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A military official told the French news agency that Syrian army “will continue its advances into the areas held by the terrorist organization and… expand the areas it controls in eastern Aleppo province.”

The militants had been in control of Jarrah since 2014.

Military analysts say Syria and its allies likely will next focus on the town of Maskana in the eastern Aleppo countryside.

More than 400,000 Syrians have been killed in Syria, and millions more have been displaced, since the conflict began there in March 2011.

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