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Syrian Army, Backed By Russia And Iran, Recaptures Base From IS

Syrian soldiers fought their way into an isolated air base in northern Syria and freed military personnel under siege there by the Islamic State extremist group, state television reported on November 10.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that an advance party of troops had reached Kweires air base in Aleppo Province and "broken the siege" of the area by IS since December 2012.

It is the most high-profile victory for Syria's army since Russia launched a military campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad in September. The Syrian troops also were supported by Iranian forces and Lebanese Hizballah fighters.

IS had mounted several attempts to overrun the base since May.

A military source said hundreds of soldiers were freed from the siege, some of whom appeared on TV praising the army and Assad.

The victory came as at least 22 people were killed in one of the bloodiest mortar attacks yet on the regime's coastal bastion of Latakia, home to a Russian air base, the observatory reported.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa