Allies, Syrian forces consolidate their control
Government troops and their allies intensified an offensive Friday against Islamic State militants in central Syria, trying to consolidate their control on the area. The Syrian troops and Russian military police patrolled the streets of Okeirbat, which was recaptured on Sept. 2. A militant counteroffensive was crushed Thursday amid intense Russian airstrikes. The militants had controlled Okeirbat since 2014, and Russian military officials showed visiting journalists a bombed-out warehouse that was used by the extremists in the once-thriving town of 10,000, the largest held by ISIL in Hama province.