BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – The Russian military will be taking over the strategic Al-Tabaqa Airport in the western countryside of the Al-Raqqa Governorate, a source from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) told Al-Masdar on Sunday.
According to the source, the Russian military has already begun deploying their forces to the Al-Tabaqa Airport, pointing out that a convoy of 15 Russian military vehicles entered the installation on Saturday.
The source added that the Russian military convoy was carrying several soldiers and equipment to secure the Al-Tabaqa Airport and its surroundings.
Last week, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over the Al-Tabaqa Airport in western Al-Raqqa to the Syrian Arab Army; this came just days after the two parties reached a defense pact in northern Syria.
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) captured the Al-Tabaqa Airport in August 2014 after seizing several sites across northern Syria, including Raqqa city.
Following the capture of the Al-Tabaqa Airport, the Islamic State carried out one of the worst massacres of the war when their terrorists marched over 200 captured Syrian soldiers to a desert area near the installation; they would then summarily execute these soldiers after lining them up side-by-side.
The Syrian Democratic Forces would later capture the Al-Tabaqa Airport during their large-scale military offensive in the Al-Raqqa Governorate.