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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Syrian army liberates 18 villages in Aleppo from Daesh

Iran Press TV

Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:15PM

Syrian army forces have managed to liberate at least 18 villages from the Daesh Takfiri group in the east of the northern Aleppo province.

The Syrian troopers restored security to the villages after they flushed out Daesh militants on Saturday.

The ground forces were fully supported by the Kurdish-dominated coalition forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Russian airstrikes.

The liberating forces established control over 40 kilometers of a highway that leads to Syria's northern city of Raqqah, the Takfiris' de facto capital, located in the militant-held northern province of Raqqah.

The Syrian forces and their allies are reportedly just 25 kilometers from Turkey's border. The new positions allow troops to target the final supply route of the terrorists from Turkey to Aleppo.

The development came a day after forces from SDF and the People's Protection Units (YPG) established their full control on the city of Shaddadah in the northeastern province of Hasakah, after defeating Daesh terrorists and liberating the strategic city along with several other villages.

The fresh gains also tightened noose on Daesh as they included two strategic roads that used to serve as supply routes for the terror group: the main road connecting Shaddadah to Daesh-held city of Mosul in Iraq and another road connecting it to Raqqah. Having lost these two routes, the Takfiris in the area were forced to retreat towards the Dayr al-Zawr province, which is mostly under their control.

The advance is part of a broader government offensive against the militants, particularly Daesh terrorists, aimed at cleansing the Syrian soil from their deadly presence.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country's pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

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