ALEPPO – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) waged Monday an offensive on locations for the Syrian army forces and allied troops in the vicinity of a key air base east of Aleppo in northern Syria, causing heavy losses in the latter’s ranks, local activists reported.
Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, media activist Abdul Rahman Tahi confirmed that ISIS fighters targeted positions of pro-Assad forces south of the Kweires air base with a car bomb, causing casualties in the army’s ranks.
“The explosion was followed by fierce clashes between the two sides, during which four locations fell to ISIS near the Kweires air base,” he added.
“ISIS militants carried out another car bomb attack at a security center adjacent to the town of Kaskis in the vicinity of Kweires.”
“Subsequent to fierce clashes between the two parties, ISIS captured the town of Kaskis,” Tahi told ARA News. “There were casualties on both sides.”
Military sources in Aleppo reported the death and injury of dozens of pro-regime forces in the ISIS-led attacks near Kweires.
In the meantime, the Syrian army bombed the road linking the towns of Deir Hafer and Kaskis in a bid to impede ISIS progress in the area.
“However, fierce clashes continue in Aleppo’s east as ISIS extremists take advantage of the bad weather conditions that prevent warplanes from targeting their positions near the air base,” the source added.
On Saturday, Syrian army officials said that pro-regime forces, supported by a Russian air cover, regained the town of Kaskis and the Agoula village (60 km east of Aleppo) along with large swaths of agricultural land, beside several tunnels from ISIS.
The areas recaptured by the army forces are located east of the Kweires air base, which was seized by ISIS on Nov. 10.
Last month, the regime’s army forces were able to break the a one-year siege imposed on its troops inside the Kweires air base by the terror group after launching a major military operation in the eastern suburbs of Aleppo. The hardline group has been striving to retake the air base for its strategic location.
Reporting by: Taim Khalil
Source: ARA News
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