Syrian government army cuts off main supply route on IS near Aleppo

Smoke rises from the northern Syrian town of al-Bab, Syria February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Syrian government forces have advanced towards so-called Islamic State’s last major stronghold in Aleppo province, cutting off the main supply route into al-Bab, a monitoring group reports, according to the BBC.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops had captured Tal Uwayshiya, a hill 9km (6 miles) to the south-east.

It overlooks a key road linking al-Bab to the IS-controlled city of Raqqa, in a neighbouring province, the BBC wrote.

Al-Bab is now almost surrounded by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels. The rebels are laying siege from the north, east and west.

It is not yet clear whether the Syrian government is also aiming to capture the town, which is considered a prize by all sides in the five-year civil war, the BBC added/

But a military source told the pro-government al-Masdar website that troops were now within striking distance of the village of Tadif, on the outskirts of al-Bab.

The government has denounced Turkey’s support of the rebel offensive, which was launched in August with the aim of clearing IS militants from a border area north of al-Bab and limiting gains to the east by Kurdish forces, concluded the BBC.

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