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    Syrian army personnel fire a machine gun in Latakia province, about 12 miles from the border with Turkey, Syria (File)

    Jihadist Fighters Build New Coalition Amid Syrian Army Success

    © AP Photo / Alexander Kots
    Middle East
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    Syria’s armed opposition groups active in a Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta have set up a new alliance to fight the ongoing offensive by government forces, who on Monday recaptured a strategic airbase just outside the Syrian capital, informed sources told Sputnik.

    The Syrian army, backed by local militia forces, has regained control over the Mardj-al-Sultan military airbase outside Damascus.

    The Mardj-al-Sultan airbase is located in Douma, a town 18 kilometers from the capital. It served as a major stronghold for the Jaish al-Islam terrorist group.

    Earlier, a source within the pro-government militia told RIA Novosti news agency that the Syrian army and militia had managed to establish a security zone around the airbase. Army engineers are demining the area.

    The new alliance brings together Jaish al-Islam, the al-Nusra Front, Arhar al-Sham and other groups, led by Abu Khaled Islam and his next-in-command, Abu Bousam al-Barra.


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