On Tuesday, Syrian troops launched a 24-hour offensive against ISIS forces surrounding the area around Kuweires Air Base in the Aleppo Province, ending over two years of ISIS having the facility surrounded and several hundred Syrian troops trapped within.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is now confirming the scope of the battle, saying at least 100 combatants on both sides were killed in the fighting. The exact split was unclear, but the Observatory said most of the slain were ISIS fighters.
Syrian officials presented the recovery of the area around the base, freeing the trapped soldiers, as a major victory, and had been facing growing pressure from the families of those soldiers to do something to free them. The recovery was one of the first targets in Syria’s new Aleppo offensive, launched with Russian backing.
The fighting in Aleppo has mostly centered on supply lines around the city of Aleppo itself, with several factions taking and losing territory around there over the past several weeks. The shift to the airbase appears to be the first long-term territory change of the entire offensive.