On March 14, ISIS cells attacked fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near an air base regularly used by Russian forces in northeastern Syria.
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, terrorists shot and killed two fighters of the SDF who were guarding Tabqah Air Base in the western countryside of Raqqa. The terrorists used handguns equipped with silencers.
The SDF captured Tabqah Air Base from ISIS following a fierce battle in March 2017. The US-led coalition took part in the battle which saw the destruction of most of the base.
In the past two years, the base was extensively used as a rear post by the Russian Military Police and the Syrian Arab Army, which deployed units in northeastern Syria to monitor the ceasefire between the SDF and Turkish forces.
Last year, several reports claimed that Russia wants to maintain a permanent military presence in the air base. These claims are yet to be confirmed.
The attack on the guards of Tabqah Air base highlights the growing ISIS influence in Raqqa and its countryside. The SDF is yet to address this threat.
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