Russian-led Coalition In Syria Scores First Major Victory While Putin Steps Up Campaign Against Islamic State
The breaking of the ISIS siege is the first major success of Bashar al-Assad’s troops and his allies in more than two years of devastating war.
Syrian government forces supported by Iranian IRGC troops and Russian air support today succeeded in finally breaking Islamic State’s siege of an important air force base in the northern Aleppo Province. The breaking of the ISIS siege is the first major success of Bashar al-Assad’s troops and his allies in more than two years of devastating war.
The Kweyris (Kuwieris) air force base had been under a permanent siege by Islamist rebels since 2013, and ISIS joined the siege at the beginning of 2014. The breaking of the siege was broadcast live on state television in Syria, and the news was independently confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The London-based organization added that fighting in the area continued.
The offensive to liberate the Kweyris base started at the end of September when Russian airplanes bombed rebel positions in the area for the first time. Since then, government forces, together with IRGC troops and Hezbollah, have been attacking ISIS positions in the area.
The Russians want to use the Kweyris base for their own air force and plan to assist the Assad coalition from there in a new effort to retake all of Aleppo, which is Syria’s second city.