BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:15 P.M.) – In a two-minute television broadcast, the Syrian Ministry of Defense has announced that forces of the Syrian Arab Army have secured the Abu Duhur military airport.

The statement comes amid ongoing objections from rebel and opposition sources that the military site is still contested between pro-government forces and militant groups.

The reclaiming of the Abu Duhur airbase by the Syrian Army comes 28 months after it fell to Islamist militias during an Al-Qaeda-led offensive, having endured a three year siege prior to that.

The 71 Syrian troops who where captured as a result of the base falling to rebel groups wound up in the hands of Jabhat al-Nusra (now called Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) who promptly executed all of them.

With the Abu Duhur airbase now under its control, the Syrian Army now plans to expand its presence in the countryside around the military site as well as capture the nearby city of Abu Duhur.

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