Com­man­dos kill 25 IS mil­i­tants in cen­tral Syria: Ob­ser­va­tory

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Beirut, Le­banon - A com­mando oper­a­tion backed by Rus­sian war­planes and he­li­copters has killed 25 mem­bers of the Is­lamic State ex­trem­ist group in cen­tral Syria, a mon­i­tor said on Sun­day.

Sup­ported by regime ally Rus­sia, Syria’s army has waged a months-long of­fen­sive to re­cap­ture the vast desert re­gion that stretches from the coun­try’s cen­tre to the Iraqi and Jor­da­nian borders.

On Satur­day, ‘25 IS mem­bers were killed and oth­ers wounded in a com­mando oper­a­tion by Syr­ian regime forces with air sup­port from Rus­sian war­planes and he­li­copters’ in the north­east of Homs prov­ince, the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights mon­i­tor­ing group said.

Six mem­bers of the regime forces were also killed, it said.

A mil­i­tary source said the oper­a­tion oc­curred ‘20km in­side Daesh (IS) ter­ror­ist lines’.

The raid al­lowed regime forces to seize con­trol of three vil­lages in the area, of­fi­cial news agency SANA re­ported the source as say­ing.

The army has cap­tured swathes of ter­ri­tory from the ex­trem­ists in the prov­ince. Ac­cord­ing to the Ob­ser­va­tory, IS now con­trols just dozens of vil­lages in the east of Homs.

The Syr­ian ‘Badiya’ is a large stretch of desert that ex­tends over around 90,000sqkm of ter­ri­tory.

Since 2015, much of the Badiya has been held by IS, but Syria’s army has been chip­ping away at it since May.

Last week, the Ob­ser­va­tory said regime forces had ousted IS from Al-Sukhna, the last ex­trem­ist-held town in Homs prov­ince.

Syria’s army and Rus­sia this week­end con­firmed its full re­cap­ture.

‘The lib­er­a­tion of Al-Sukhna from IS ter­ror­ists opens up pos­si­bil­i­ties for Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces to launch an as­sault and free the city of Deir Ez­zor’, a Rus­sian army state­ment said.

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