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Iran Press TV

Syrian govt. forces, allies recapture more areas near Jordan border

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:36PM

Syrian government forces, backed by fighters from allied popular defense groups, have continued their counter-terrorism operations in the country's southernmost province of Suwayda, and gained more ground in their fight against foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants.

The media bureau of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement reported on Thursday that Syrian army troops and their allies were now in control of all checkpoints and outpost on the border with Jordan.

Said Saef, spokesman for the Western-backed militant group Martyr Ahmed Abdo Brigade, said the advances came from two sides in the eastern countryside of Suwayda.

"They are now on the Jordanian border and back to outposts they had evacuated early in the conflict," Saef added.

Another militant spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the army gains were made after members of Jaish al-Ashair militant group pulled out of the areas in the face of army attacks.

Syrian state-run TV later reported that government troops had captured an area of 1,300 square kilometers in addition to some strategic hills.

Elsewhere in the troubled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, Syrian army forces and pro-government fighters pounded the positions of Daesh Takfiri terrorists, killing and injuring scores of them.

Syria's official news agency, SANA, reported that army units clashed with the Daesh extremists on the outskirts of Dayr al-Zawr Airport, eliminating many terrorists and destroying their munitions.

Syrian Air Force jets and artillery units also struck Daesh fortifications in al-Mawared, al-Banorama and al-Thurdeh areas in addition to the villages of al-Boughailiyeh , al-Tabni and al-Qasabi.

US-led aerial attacks kill over dozen Syrians

Meanwhile, more than a dozen civilians have lost their lives when the US-led coalition purportedly fighting Daesh conducted a series of airstrikes in Dayr al-Zawr Province.

Local sources told SANA that at least 19 people were killed and several others wounded as US-led military aircraft bombarded the city of Mayadin, located about 44 kilometers southeast of Dayr al-Zawr, as well as the northern outskirts of al-Tabni.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.

Daesh terrorists trapped in Raqqah's center

Separately, militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have surrounded Daesh extremists in the center of the militant-held northern city of Raqqah.

"We've cleared about half of Old Raqqah ... and we're advancing on all axes," Haval Gabar, a 25-year-old commander from the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is a major component of the US-backed SDF, said on Wednesday.

He added, "The day before yesterday there was still a small gap. Yesterday it was closed. We are now pressing towards Mansur and Rashid districts."

Gabar added that the Raqqah battle would be over within the next three or four months, dismissing YPG's initial predictions that the offensive will finish in a matter of weeks.

The Kurdish commander went on to say that SDF militiamen were advancing steadily, but landmines planted by Daesh Takfiris were slowing down their progress.

"They've laid many mines; that's one of the biggest difficulties. As for car bombs, they don't use them every day, but if our forces are advancing down a street, then they deploy them," Gabar pointed out.

The city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the Takfiris' administrative and control tasks the following year.

It is estimated that a population of 300,000 civilians is trapped inside Raqqah, including 80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria. Thousands have fled in recent months, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes about 160,000 people remain in the city.

On June 6, the US-backed militiamen from the SDF said they had launched an operation aimed at pushing Daesh out of Raqqah.

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