Advancing from Palmyra, Islamic State eyes Assad’s T4 airbase

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Following a bloody fight with regime forces, the Islamic State captured farmlands and scattered buildings 17km east of the ancient city of Palmyra on Monday, as part of their campaign against the nearby T4 airbase, one of the regime’s largest and most important airbases, reported Smart News on Monday. Monday’s gains, “deep in regime-held territory west of Palmyra,” bring the Islamic State only 35km west of the T4 airbase, Nasir a-Tadmuri, a Palmyra-based journalist told Syria Direct. Among the territory captured on Monday is a-Dua, an agricultural area between Palmyra and the airport. With that, “IS can better supply a future campaign to capture T4, by moving men, tanks and ammunition from its base of operations inside Palmyra,” said a-Tadmuri. As IS presses from the east, its forces to the south of the airport launched a six-ton truck bomb against the T4 base earlier this month, reportedly destroying a radar facility and killing and wounding dozens of regime forces, reported pro-opposition news All4Syria on August 5.