Iraqi and Syrian towns and cities seized by the Islamic State and its allies. Map created by Patrick Megahan and Bill Roggio for The Long War Journal. Click to view larger map.
The Islamic State is close to cementing its control in the eastern Syrian province of Raqqah today after it overran the Tabqa military airport. The airbase is the last Syrian military stronghold in Raqqah.
Islamic State fighters “took control over wide areas of the airbase” after launching a massed assault earlier today, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A number of Syrian soldiers and allied “militiamen” withdrew “towards Athraya Area” after heavy fighting. Syrian warplanes attacked Islamic State fighters inside and outside of the airbase, indicating the military has lost control of the facility.
This Islamic State removed a nearby checkpoint to allow Syrian forces “an attempt to give the regime forces a path in order to retreat from the airbase and to avoid the violent clashes with them inside the airbase,” the Observatory later reported. “The warplanes that were in the airbase of [Tabqa] have been towed to another airbase in the Syrian Badeya and to the Military Airport of Deir Ezzor.” […]