Syrian troops break siege imposed by IS on base since 2013

Islamic Extremism

Mideast Syria Islamic StateAn Islamic State fighter fires his weapon during a battle against Syrian government troops in the village of Mahin, central Homs province, Syria. The Arabic banner reads, “A side of the clashes between the soldiers of the caliphate and Alawites to liberate the village of Mahin.” (Islamic State social media account via AP)

Syrian state TV reported that government forces have broken a siege imposed by the Islamic State group on a northern military air base since 2013.

The report says government forces met with troops that were defending the Kweiras air base in the northern province of Aleppo.

Syrian troops, backed by pro-government gunmen, launched a wide offensive to reach the base last month under the cover of Russian airstrikes. On Monday, Russia’s Defence Ministry said its air force had flown 137 sorties and hit 448 targets in Syria since Friday.

Tuesday’s push is a major victory for the government against IS that controls nearly half of Syria. IS fighters have besieged the nearly 1,000 soldiers inside the base since 2013.

Compiled from AP and Reuters wires