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Syrian forces break 'Islamic State' siege of Aleppo air base

The Syrian army has achieved a major victory at an air base besieged by the 'Islamic State' militant group. The victory comes as President Bashar al-Assad's forces ramp up their fight against the extremists.

Assad's forces on Tuesday broke a prolonged siege by "Islamic State" ("IS") militants of an Aleppo military air base.

Syrian government forces managed to reach fellow soldiers who had been holed up inside the base, which had been besieged by the terror group for nearly two years.

According to an AFP reporter present at the scene, soldiers fired shots into the air in celebration.

Syria steps up its campaign

Syria government forces have ramped up their fighting against IS, especially in the key region of Aleppo.

Earlier this month, the Syrian army took back a key transit route held by the militants that linked central Syria to the city of Aleppo. The announcement was seen as a major victory for the embattled Syrian president, who has been aided in his fight against IS by Russian airstrikes since the end of September.

Also on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed by phone the increasingly unstable situation in Syria.

The city of Aleppo - once the country's most populous city - is currently contested by government forces and various rebel factions, with IS members controlling territory outside the city's borders.

blc/kms (AFP, Reuters, Interfax)

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