Daesh no longer has a presence in Syria’s Aleppo province after withdrawing from a series of villages where regime forces were advancing, a monitor said on Friday.
“IS (Daesh) withdrew from 17 towns and villages and is now effectively outside of Aleppo province after having a presence there for four years,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Regime forces had been advancing on a sliver of southeastern Aleppo province around a key highway linking Hama province to the southwest and Raqqa province further east.
Abdel Rahman said regime forces seized control of the road late Thursday night, prompting the remaining Daesh fighters to flee. A Syrian military source in rural Aleppo confirmed the withdrawal.
“The military operation is ongoing and Daesh withdrew from the Aleppan countryside toward rural territory in Hama and Raqqa,” the source told AFP.
“The Syrian army is clearing out the last few meters,” the source added.
Since early 2015, multifront offensives against Daesh have eaten away at territory the group held in Aleppo province.
US-backed Kurdish and allied Arab fighters ousted the terrorists from Kobani on the Turkish border in 2015 and from the key city of Manbij last year.
Opposition fighters backed by Turkey seized the town of Al-Bab in February, and Syrian regime troops have steadily chipped away at Daesh towns in the south of the province.