Syrian army seizes last IS hideout in Aleppo suburbs

State-run news agency SANA said army units made strategic gains in the rural east of the province. (Photo: Internet)

The Syrian army and allied forces captured the last major town held by Islamic State in Aleppo province on Sunday, state media and a war monitoring group said, Reuters reported.

State-run news agency SANA said army units made strategic gains in the rural east of the province.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitoring group, said government forces entered the town of Maskaneh after weeks of heavy fighting, according to Reuters.

Reuters also said that the advance brings Russian-backed government forces to the border of Raqqa province, which is largely under the control of U.S.-backed militias also fighting Islamic State.

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. The army had retaken the water plant from Islamic State in March, according to Reuters.

Islamic State 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, Reuters indicated.

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