Islamic State fighters capture airbase eastern Syria

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ARA News 

ERBIL – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Wednesday captured a military airport in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province, local sources reported. 

Subsequent to clashes with the opposition-linked New Syrian Army, ISIS militants regained control of the Hamdan airport. 

ISIS had lost control of the airbase to the New Syrian Army earlier this week, before fighting back and recapturing it.

“More than 40 rebel fighters were killed in the ISIS offensive on Hamdan airport,” a spokesman for the New Syrian Army told ARA News. “Our forces retreated to avoid further losses, as the ISIS radical group brought huge military reinforcements to the area.”

Hamdan airport is located 5km west of al-Bukamal city in Deir ez-Zor province. 

Syrian rebels on Tuesday launched a major offensive against militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in al-Bukamal. 

The western-backed New Syrian Army bombed ISIS positions in al-Bukamal city near the border with Iraq.

“This new operation is aimed at recapturing al-Bukamal and cutting off a main supply line for ISIS between Iraq and Syria,” a spokesman for the New Syrian Army told ARA News on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

The official confirmed that several rebel factions took part in the operation led by the New Syrian Army, adding that opening this new frontline against ISIS could help accelerating the progress made by other rebel groups against the group in Syria. 

This comes as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued their military operations against the Islamic State in northern Syria, especially at the battlefront of Manbij pocket on the border with Turkey. 

Military sources reported that the rebel fighters have entered the administrative borders of al-Bukamal and took over a number of ISIS positions there on Tuesday midnight. ARA News could not verify the number of casualties in the clashes. 

The New Syrian Army was formed some 18 months ago from rebel fighters driven out of eastern Syria by ISIS as it expanded its territories in mid-2014 following the capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Reporting by: Chalak Ahmed

Source: ARA News

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