Syria army advances against Daesh

Beirut

Syrian government troops advanced overnight against the Daesh group in the country’s north and center, drawing closer to the key battleground of Deir Ezzor, a monitor said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the army had made “significant progress” south of Raqqa city.
“There is now just four kilometers between regime forces and the town of Madan, which is the last town controlled by Daesh in the Raqqa countryside,” the Observatory said.
Madan lies next to the border between Raqqa province and Deir Ezzor, an eastern province that is mostly held by Daesh.
Jihadists have besieged government forces and civilians inside the provincial capital Deir Ezzor city since 2015.
Syrian loyalist troops are battling Daesh in the south of Raqqa province separately from an offensive by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a militia that is fighting the jihadists inside Raqqa city.
The regime is also fighting Daesh in central Homs province, where overnight they captured the last jihadist-held town in the area, the Observatory said.
The capture of Al-Sukhna opens the route for government troops to advance toward Deir Ezzor on a second axis. There was no official confirmation of Sukhna’s capture from Syria’s government.
State news agency SANA said the army had surrounded the town from three sides. Since May, Syria’s army has been conducting a broad military campaign with Russian support to recapture the vast Badia desert region that separates the capital Damascus from Deir Ezzor.—AFP

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