Last IS strong­hold in Aleppo cap­tured

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

DA­M­AS­CUS: The Syr­ian army and al­lied fight­ers yes­ter­day cap­tured the last Is­lamic State (IS) strong­hold the town of Maskanah in the north­ern prov­ince of Aleppo, ac­cord­ing to the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights.

Lo­cated in the south-east­ern coun­try­side of Aleppo, cap­tur­ing Maskanah is the lat­est in a string of suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions by the army and its al­lies to end the pres­ence of IS in Aleppo.

The Ob­ser­va­tory, which re­lies on a net­work of ac­tivists on the ground, said the army has been comb­ing the town since early yes­ter­day in search of ex­plo­sives and road­side bombs.

The IS fight­ers and their fam­i­lies with­drew from the town be­fore the army could place a full siege on it, af­ter cut­ting the road be­tween the town and north­ern prov­ince of Raqqa, the de facto cap­i­tal of IS.

A widescale mil­i­tary of­fen­sive in the coun­try­side of Aleppo was un­leashed in Jan­uary, af­ter the army forces wrested back con­trol of the en­tire city of Aleppo.

Now, the Syr­ian army is also ac­tive in the Syr­ian desert against IS, cap­tur­ing large swathes of ter­ri­tory from the group.

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