Kurdish troops, with Russian special forces, capture key air base in N. Syria

DEBKAfile's sources report Thursday that forces from the Kurdish YPG militia, backed by Russian commandos, captured the Minnigh air base and an adjacent town in northern Syria from rebel groups allied with Islamic State. It marked the first time in the Syrian war that Kurdish troops had attacked the rebels in a joint operation with the Russians. The town and the base located north of the city of Aleppo, and just a few kilometers from the Turkish border, are strategically important due to their proximity to the town of A'zaz that controls the main northern route leading to the besieged city. DEBKAfile's sources added that the capture of the air base and the roads leading to it cut off the last remaining route for the rebels in Aleppo to receive ammunition, food, medicine and other supplies from the air. 

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