Syrian residents and rescue workers search the rubble for survivors following an air strike by government forces on July 17, 2014 in the northern city of Aleppo. AFP PHOTO / BARAA AL-HALABI
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Syrian soldiers clashed with ISIS militants outside a government-controlled army airport Friday, part of a major escalation of fighting between the Al-Qaeda offshoot and the military.Fighting also broke out Friday between ISIS and government forces at the army airport in Deir al-Zor, one of the last major strategic locations in Deir al-Zor province not under the control of ISIS.The Syrian army responded to the militants' offensive by bombing areas around the airport, which supplies its forces in the east of the country, the Observatory said. The fighting was just a few hundred meters from the airport, Abdel-Rahman said, noting that it would be tough for ISIS to overcome government forces there.In the province of Hama, government forces pounded rebels in the village of Morek with 12 airstrikes and six barrel bombs dropped by helicopter, the Observatory said.After several weeks of slightly lower casualty figures, the Observatory said Thursday's nationwide death toll stood at 314 people, of whom 163 were regime troops and allied fighters.
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