BEIRUT – Islamic State group militants are closing in on the government-held Deir Ezzor air base in eastern Syria, nearly surrounding its beleaguered garrison, a monitoring group said on Friday.

December 6, 2014 8:46 AM

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Islamic State fighters seized the village of Al-Jaffrah, adjacent to the base, leaving it surrounded except for a narrow corridor to the west, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Islamic State militants control most of Deir Ezzor province, but half of its capital remains in the government hands, along with the military airport.

The oil-rich province lies between Islamic State -controlled Raqa and the Iraqi border, and is a key prize for the miltants group. IS launched a renewed assault on the military airport earlier this week. The fighting has killed at least 30 government troops and militia, as well as 27 IS fighters, ov...

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