This video, posted online on Jan. 10, shows a Syrian helicopter bombing the Taftanaz air base, where activists said rebels were gaining an upper hand.
The Battle For Syria’s Minakh Air Base -- C. J. Civers, At War/New York Times
Since late last spring, when fighters opposed to President Bashar al-Assad began pushing government security forces out of parts of northern Syria, one military compound north of Aleppo has been a stubborn holdout: the air base at Minakh.
In town after town last year, Mr. Assad’s troops gave way to a campaign of ambushes, hit-and-run attacks and roadside bombs, ultimately pulling back into strong points and cities to fight a slower and more stationary war. The rebels then chipped away at outlying outposts, treating each as an island and overrunning many of them as the months have passed. The isolated base at Minakh has proved to be insurmountable.
Located on flatlands and ringed by wheat and potato fields that offer little cover or concealment, the base and the village at its eastern side have even been nigh unapproachable. To venture near has been to risk machine-gun and rifle fire, as well as high-explosive ordnance from armored vehicles and tanks or an attack from one of the patrolling aircraft that serve as the lifeline for entrapped soldiers within.
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My Comment: Further evidence that the Syrian civil war is now a war of attrition .... and if true, it is a conflict that Assad is slowly losing.