Syrian army secures IS-held town in Homs province
August 12, 2017 | 5:22 PM
by Reuters
A Syrian Democratic Forces sniper aims his weapon during the fighting with Islamic State militants in Imru' Al Qais, a district of Raqqa, Syria on August 11, 2017. Photo - Reuters

Beirut: Syrian government forces seized full control of the last major town in Homs province held by IS, Syrian state media reported on Saturday, as the army and its allies press a multi-pronged advance into eastern areas held by the militant group.

Syrian state media cited a military source saying IS militants had been killed and their weapons destroyed at the town of Al Sukhna, some 50 km (30 miles) northeast of the ancient city of Palmyra.

The town is also located some 50 km (30 miles) from the provincial boundary of Deir Al Zor province, IS's last major foothold in Syria and a major target for the Syrian government.

The militants have lost swathes of Syrian territory to separate campaigns being waged by government forces backed by Russia and Iran, and by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic (SDF) Forces, which is dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia. The SDF is currently focused on capturing Raqqa city from IS.

Syrian government forces advancing from the west have recently crossed into Deir Al Zor province from southern areas of Raqqa province.

IS controls nearly all of Deir Al Zor province, which is bordered to the east by Iraq. The Syrian government still controls a pocket of territory in Deir Al Zor city, and a nearby military base.

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