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WAR REPORT
Syria army seizes airbase from IS: military source, monitor
by Staff Writers
Beirut (AFP) May 13, 2017


Syria's army captured an airbase in eastern Aleppo from the Islamic State group on Saturday, after more than two months of fierce clashes, a military source and monitor said.

The Jarrah airbase had been under IS control since January 2014, when the jihadists seized it from rebels who had captured it a year earlier.

"Regime forces took control of the Jarrah military airport after heavy fighting," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.

"The majority of the jihadists have withdrawn, and regime forces are carrying out clearing operations in the airport and engaged in limited clashes with remaining IS elements," he added.

Syria's army launched an offensive against IS in eastern Aleppo province in mid-January, backed by ally Russia.

So far it has taken control of more than 170 villages and towns in the area, according to the Britain-based monitor.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, also confirmed the capture of the military base.

"The Syrian army has completed its capture of Jarrah airport and a number of the surrounding villages," he told AFP.

"It will continue its advances into the areas held by the terrorist organisation and... expand the areas it controls in eastern Aleppo province," he added.

The next key target for government forces in the area will likely be the town of Maskana, on the edge of Lake Assad.

Syria's army is just one of the forces battling IS in the country.

An alliance of Syrian Kurds and Arabs is also fighting the group further east, in Raqa province, with support from the US-led coalition.

More than 320,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

WAR REPORT
Philippine assault on extremists sends 24,000 fleeing
Manila (AFP) May 11, 2017
More than 24,000 people fled their homes as the Philippine military used airstrikes and artillery against Muslim extremists who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, authorities said Thursday. Almost a week of attacks on members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the strife-torn southern island of Mindanao has displaced residents of six towns, said Jofelle Delicana, ... read more

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