The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) has said it has taken control of a village near a key government airbase that it now plans to target in the province of Deir Az Zor.
ISIL on Thursday claimed it was advancing towards the strategic military base, located just outside of the provinical capital, which has long been used by government forces to launch air raids on opposition fighters.
Members of ISIL uploaded a video to social media purportedly showing the armed group in control of the Al Jafra village.
Gaining control of the area surrounding the base is also important to access its rich oilfields, which has been fought over since the country’s conflict began in 2011.
Another one of ISIL’s main targets in the region is a large weapons depot.
ISIL currently governs over most of Deir Az Zor, including half of the provincial capital, but the Syrian government has maintained control over some parts of it.
Losing the strategic airbase could be a major blow to government forces in the province.