Monday, August 25, 2014

Islamic State Takes Control of Tabqa Airbase

Map of Syria with Raqqa province in light green
Image: KureCewlik81.

After several days of fighting, Islamic State fighters are reported to have taken control of Tabqa airbase, the last government stronghold in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa. The loss was confirmed by Syrian state television, who reported a "successful evacuation of the airport" and that the government forces were continuing local operations against "terrorist groups".

This is the third military base in the province to fall to the extremist group in recent weeks, after reports of them seizing weapons during their advances in neighboring Iraq.

 The airbase reportedly contained several squadrons of warplanes, tanks, and artillery.

Elsewhere, Islamic State fighters were reported to have withdrawn from the area around Homs and to have retreated east, giving up the area to fighters of the al-Nusra Front. Other rebel groups backed by Western countries have also been fighting the Islamic State, but tend to lose those confrontations.

The ongoing fighting is a continuation of the Syrian Civil War, which started in 2011 as protest groups confronted forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Fighters of the Islamic State had previously fought alongside other opposition groups, but its treatment of individuals led to fighting between them.


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