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Islamic State group launches new push on key army base in northeast Syria

In this image posted on a social media account of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front early Thursday Sept. 10, 2015, which is consistent with AP reporting, shows fighters from the group in and around a Syrian government forces helicopter, inside the Abu Zuhour air base, in Idlib province, north Syria. After a two-year siege, al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria and other insurgents on Wednesday captured the one remaining Syrian army air base in Idlib province, a development that activists said effectively expelled the last of President Bashar Assad's military from the northwestern province. The Arabic words read: "from inside Abu Zuhour air base." (Al-Nusra Front social media account via AP)

In this image posted on a social media account of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front early Thursday Sept. 10, 2015, which is consistent with AP reporting, shows fighters from the group in and around a Syrian government forces helicopter, inside the Abu Zuhour air base, in Idlib province, north Syria. After a two-year siege, al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria and other insurgents on Wednesday captured the one remaining Syrian army air base in Idlib province, a development that activists said effectively expelled the last of President Bashar Assad's military from the northwestern province. The Arabic words read: "from inside Abu Zuhour air base." (Al-Nusra Front social media account via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A pro-Islamic State news agency and activists say the extremist group's fighters have launched a new push on a key military base in northeastern Syria,

The pro-IS Aamaq says IS captured the site of a rocket battalion overnight, about a mile away from the Deir el-Zour military base, following two suicide bombings that targeted soldiers guarding the area.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the attacks, saying intense clashes continue near the base. IS has been trying to take over the base since late last year. If captured, it would eliminate the last major government presence in Deir el-Zour province.

Thursday's IS push comes a day after Syria's government lost the last remaining army base in Idlib province. That base was taken by al-Qaida and other insurgents.