Syria's north is now under the control of the Islamic State
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/25/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Officials in Syria are reporting the fighters from the Islamic State have taken control of the Tabqa airbase in Raqqa province, the last stronghold of Bashar al-Assad's government in that area.
Residents of Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State, celebrate the capture of a Syrian airbase.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Syrian State TV confirmed that government forces had "evacuated" the airbase after days of fighting there resulted in the death of hundreds on both sides.
A United Nations report says that as of April 2014, more than 191,000 people have been killed in the three-year-old Syrian civil war.
Syrian jets strike targets around an airbase that was recently captured by the Islamic State.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group with ties to opposition elements in the civil war, said that there are still clashes going on around the airbase, but that the base itself is firmly under the control of the Islamic State.
"After heavy fighting by the forces defending the Tabqa airbase, our forces implemented a regrouping operation after the evacuation of the airbase," a State TV broadcast said.
A report on the death tolls growing in Syria since the start of the civil war in 2011.
Syrian forces conducted airstrikes on the base after the troops had evacuated it reported.
The Tabqa airbase lies 30 miles outside Raqqa city, the capital of the Islamic State, and is believed to hold dozens of warplanes, helicopters, tanks and artillery.
Analysts say that the fall of Tabqa airbase is a significant blow for Syria, and will severely hamper any efforts to project air power into the north of the country.
The Islamic State militants celebrated the victory over the airbase by displaying the severed heads of soldiers, a witness reported.
In a separate incident, forces of the Syrian government killed 32 rebels in an ambush in southern Syria, and state media confirmed that tens of fighters had been killed in the attack.
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