Pro-Syrian forces advance against ISIS
DAMASCUS, Syria — Pro-government forces captured the Islamic State group’s last stronghold in the energy-rich Homs province in central Syria on Sunday, paving the way to advance on the besieged eastern city of Deir el-Zour, state media and a war monitoring group reported.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said 30 Islamic State militants were killed in the last 24 hours of battle for the town of al-Sukhna, in Homs, before it was captured Saturday by pro-government forces. It says the Russian air force provided air support and bombed the town.
Syrian military media reported the town’s capture on Sunday. The advance puts pro-government forces 68 miles from reaching companion forces trapped in Deir el-Zour in the Euphrates River valley, which have depended on risky supply flights and air drops for relief and weapons. Islamic State militants have held the city under siege since 2015.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese army captured a number of strategic hilltops bordering Syria from Islamic State militants on Sunday.
The National News Agency said the army captured several hills between the frontier towns of Ras Baalbek and Arsal, and the army said in a statement it destroyed Islamic State fortifications and killed several militants.