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Iran Press TV

Syrian army troops liberate Aleppo town from Daesh clutches

Iran Press TV

Sun Jun 4, 2017 1:10PM

Syrian army soldiers have managed to liberate a key town in the northern province of Aleppo from Daesh Takfiri terrorists as they continue to score more territorial gains in battles against extremists across the war-ravaged Arab country.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria's official news agency, SANA, that Syrian troops had regained control of Maskanah town, which lies on the western bank of Lake Assad and is located 100 kilometers (62 miles) southeast of the provincial capital city of Aleppo, on Sunday.

"Military units continue to advance in the east of Aleppo province and track down groups of Daesh terrorists. Security and stability has been restored to the strategic town of Maskanah and a number of areas," the source added.

The recapture of Maskanah marks a great victory for Syrian government forces as the town is the last important civilian population center on the eastern border of Aleppo with the militant-held neighboring province of Raqqah.

"Whoever controls Maskanah controls the axes running between Aleppo and Raqqah. Daesh presence in the eastern flank of Aleppo Province is now at its end," an unnamed Syrian military official commented.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Daesh Takfiris are now in control of some villages scattered in the desert eastern and southeastern parts of Aleppo Province; and the terrains can easily be recaptured.

Syrian Kurdish militias seize major dam in Raqqah

Meanwhile, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have established full control over a strategic dam on the Euphrates River in Raqqah Province following intense clashes with members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

The US-backed SDF militias, made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, announced in a statement on Sunday that the forces had captured the Baath Dam in the morning, and renamed it Freedom Dam.

The Baath dam on the Euphrates is located 22 kilometers (14 miles) upstream from the city of Raqqah. Its water turbines reportedly can generate 81 megawatts of electricity, and its storage capacity is 0.09 cubic kilometers.

The US administration is set to use the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a major component of the SDF, in a planned US-led offensive to retake Raqqah, which has served as the main stronghold of Daesh in Syria since 2014.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, which has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

Speaking to reporters while on a visit to Montenegro on May 10, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Washington knows Ankara's position on the YPG very well and should not take wrong steps in Syria.

The top Turkish diplomat added that the United States needed to distinguish between the YPG and their Arab allies in the SDF, and that the Arabs should be the ones to enter Raqqah.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also made it clear that he expects a turnaround from Washington on such a move.

Syria has been fighting different foreign-sponsored militant groups since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated last August that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the crisis until then.

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