Friday, 20 January 2017

Central Syria clashes leave 30 dead: monitor

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BEIRUT, Lebanon: Fierce clashes near a key military airport in central Syria on Thursday left at least 18 jihadists and a dozen pro-government fighters dead, a monitoring group said.
The Daesh group has sought for weeks to advance near the Tayfur military airport in Homs province.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, intense fighting and air strikes by Syrian and allied Russian warplanes rocked the area on Thursday.
“Twelve regime fighters were killed, including seven in a suicide blast,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, adding that 18 Daesh militants were also killed.
Daesh has sought to cut off the regime’s access route to Tayfur airport, which is located between the cities of Palmyra and Homs.
The jihadists retook Palmyra in central Syria on December 11, just eight months after the army, backed by Russia, drove them out.
Since then clashes have rattled the region and on Monday attacks by Daesh on Tayfur killed at least 20 regime force members, according to the Observatory.
Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its recapture by Daesh gave the jihadists a propaganda boost as they face assaults on two of their key strongholds — Raqqa in Syria and Iraq’s second city Mosul.
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