The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has relentlessly targeted the isolated Kuweires Military Airbase for the last two years; however, as of recently, the terrorist group has launched some of their fiercest attacks on the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions, emulating their first assault on this airport in late 2013 when they took complete control of the Deir Hafer Plains in the Aleppo Governorate’s eastern countryside.
Despite the repeated attempts to break-through the Syrian Armed Forces’ frontline defenses at the Kuweires Military Airport, ISIS has been consistently unsuccessful in this military endeavor that has cost them well-over 175 armed combatants since the advent of the month of August when they first announced this full-scale offensive.
While the death toll for ISIS is rather high – given it is only three weeks into the fighting – the Syrian Arab Army’s casualty figures have also caused great concern for the soldiers entrenched inside the Kuweires Military Airbase, as they have a limited number of men (est. 750) to combat the terrorist group’s large forces that continue to replenish their lost combatants.
According to a military source in the Aleppo Governorate, 71 Syrian Arab Army soldiers have been reportedly killed in the month of August; this number is double the total number of soldiers killed at the Kuweires Military Airport all year.
In fact, these soldiers inside the Kuweries Military Airport were once cadets that were undergoing a rigorous training regiment to be inducted into the Syrian Arab Army’s “Air Defense Corps’; however, in 2011, this changed when the violence led to a brutal civil war.
For four years, the soldiers at the Kuweries Military Airbase have not left the parameters of the airport; they have been confined to the dilapidated barriers that protect the airport from the encroaching enemy combatants.
The three year long defense of the Kuweries Military Airbase has been remarkable; however, the question remains “how long can they hold” – there are no supply lines to the airport and no path to retreat for the soldiers.
Any hope of lifting the siege of the Kuweires Military Airbase rests on the shoulders of the Syrian Arab Army soldiers entrenched to the east of the Al-Safira District; if they are unable to break-through ISIS’ defensive corridor, then the month of September could be potentially bloodier than August.