Syrian Army Retakes Last Daesh-Held Area in Aleppo Province
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Syrian army and allied forces captured the last major town held by Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) in Aleppo province on Sunday, state media and a war monitoring group said.
State-run news agency SANA said army units made strategic gains in the rural east of the province.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group, said government forces entered the town of Maskaneh after weeks of heavy fighting.
The advance brings government forces to the border of Raqqa province.
A Syrian military source said the army "restored security and stability" to Maskaneh and nearby positions. Troops also regained large generators that power a main water pumping station, the source said.
Daesh militants have been holed up in desert areas in the southeast corner of Aleppo, now their only presence in the province. Syrian government forces control Aleppo city and much of the province's east, while rebel groups hold swathes of its west.
The town of Maskaneh lies on the western banks of the Euphrates river in Aleppo province, some 10 kilometers from the provincial border with Raqqa. The next major urban center across the border to the east is Tabqa.
With the help of Russian air power, the Syrian army has been stepping up attacks on Daesh in the eastern Aleppo countryside.
The Syrian army said on Saturday that it seized mountainous territory from the terror group east of the road that links Damascus to Aleppo, a critical lifeline for the government that has often come under Daesh attack.