IS destroy helicopters’ in Syria

New satellite imagery appears to reveal extensive damage to a strategically significant airbase in central Syria used by Russian forces after an attack by Islamic State (IS).

Four helicopters and 20 Lorries were destroyed in a series of fires inside the T4 base last week, the images from intelligence company, Stratfor, suggest.

The cause of the fires is unconfirmed.

A pro-Kremlin website said the helicopters had been “used by both Russian and Syrian air forces”.

Russia has not officially commented on the incident.

A Russian opposition website quoted “Syrian sources” as saying “a large fire in the Syrian part of the T4 airbase spread to the fleet of vehicles and after a fuel tank exploded; four Russian helicopters nearby went up in flames.”

“The cause of the fire is being established,” it stated.

Supply lines
In addition to the Russian losses, the area where it happened is strategically significant.

The province of Homs stretches out into the Syrian desert towards Raqqa, the capital of the “caliphate” proclaimed by IS in 2014, and Deir al-Zour, on the way to the border with Iraq.

As it tries to shake the government’s grip on Homs, IS is facing a diverse range of factions on the ground.

The Iranian Al-Alam news website carried reports on May 16 that “Syrian allied forces” had cut off IS supply lines between Raqqa and Homs by taking over four hills overlooking the Shaer gas fields held by IS.