he Syrian government said Monday it was ready to work with United Nations-backed groups to fight Islamic State militants, after the Tabqa airbase on the Iraq-Syria border was seized.
The statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem warned, though, that any airstrike against IS on Syrian territory “should be done in coordination with the Syrian government.”
IS controls territory on both sides of the border, attempting to establish a hardline Muslim caliphate.
The strategic airbase fell to IS forces Sunday, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and Syrian state television said the base was evacuated.
Two other Syrian military bases in Raqqa province — whose capital city of Raqqa is regarded as Islamic State’s headquarters — were previously overtaken. While the United States has conducted airstrikes against the IS over Iraq in the past month, it has stayed clear of Syrian territory. Syrian planes have bombed IS troops on its side of the border, but Syria lacks adequate ground assault capabilities.