Al Qaeda Captures Major Air Force Base in Syria

Islamist rebels have overrun the al-Jarrah military airbase, close to the city of Aleppo, taking control of the facility from government forces.

Air power is one of the government’s most effective weapons against rebel fighters, so the fall of the al-Jarrah airbase is a major blow to the regime and could significantly hamper their war effort in Aleppo, formerly the commercial hub of Syria and currently still a contested city which has seen some of the heaviest fighting throughout the war.

A combined force of rebels from a range of Islamist brigades led the assult on al-Jarrah. According to The Long War Journal the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, played a leading role in the operation, alongside the Islamist Ahrar al Sham Brigades. These two groups have conducted a number of joint operations in Syria recently, including a similar operation in January which saw them take control of the Taftanaz base, a key air force base in the Idlib province…

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