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Syrian TV: Syrian Forces Take Back Air Base from Islamic State

  • VOA News

A group of Syrian pro-government forces raise their guns in celebration on the outskirts of Kweyris near the Kweyris military air base, east of the Syrian province of Aleppo, Nov. 10, 2015.

A group of Syrian pro-government forces raise their guns in celebration on the outskirts of Kweyris near the Kweyris military air base, east of the Syrian province of Aleppo, Nov. 10, 2015.

Syria's military reports it has taken back a northern air base that was under siege by Islamic State for two years.

State-run television says Syrian forces entered Kewiras air base in Aleppo Tuesday after a nearly month-long offensive. It says the military's success was made possible by Russian airstrikes on the extremists.

The TV report say the bodies of militants are scattered throughout the base.

Islamic State have been surrounding the air base since 2013, trapping hundreds of Syrian soldiers inside.

Russian forces began airstrikes in Syria in September. Moscow says the airstrikes are aimed at Islamic State.

The United States says most of the strikes have so far hit U.S.-backed opposition fighters and are actually intended to shore up President Bashar al-Assad's floundering government.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has criticized Russian involvement in Syria, saying last week that "Russia is throwing gasoline on an already dangerous fire, prolonging a civil war that fuels the very extremism Russia claims to oppose."

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