ISIS forces have attacked a Syrian military patrol near the Koerse airbase Saturday, hitting them with a suicide bomb and killing at least nine troops. This is raising concern that ISIS is planning another push onto the grounds of the airbase itself.
ISIS had launched several previous pushes against Koerse, most recently earlier in this month, sparking a multi-day battle that left 39 Syrian soldiers and 33 ISIS fighters dead. The base is Syria’s largest, and considered the last major military bastion in Aleppo Province.
The base in symbolically important for the Syrian military, but is also the site from which many of their northern airstrikes originate. They are believed to have some 2,000 ground troops defending the base, which makes a direct ISIS offensive no small task.
ISIS has made a point throughout the war of overrunning air bases in Syria, denying the military of a lot of its operational effectiveness. ISIS focused on airbases and Raqqa and Deir Ezzor Provinces during their takeovers of those regions.