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Syrian army makes new gains in western province of Lattakia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A tank belonging to the Syrian army is seen in an undisclosed location in Syria. ©SANA

The Syrian army, backed by allied forces and the Russian Air Force, has made significant advances against militants in different parts of the country.

A Syrian military source said on Thursday that the Syrian troops, along with forces belonging to the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, “have seized most of the hilly region of Jeb al-Ahmar," a highland in the western Syrian province of Lattakia.

There have been heavy clashes between Syrian forces and terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, in the area for months.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that “violent clashes” erupted between the government forces and militants in the area of Jeb al-Ahmar.

The UK-based group said the government forces made advances during the clashes and controlled “several areas there.”

Clashes are reportedly still under way in the area between the Syrian forces and the militants.

Elsewhere, during an operation covered by the Russian Air Force, units of the Syrian army targeted militants in the eastern countryside of the western province of Hama, killing 32 of them and injuring 38 others, Syria's official news agency, SANA, quoted a military source as saying.

Reports also said that four armored vehicles and three canons belonging to the militants were destroyed in the operation.

Another Syrian military source added that the Russian Air Force, in cooperation with the Syrian Air Force, conducted a series of “precise” airstrikes on several Daesh positions in a number of areas, including Atarib, Deir Hafer, al-Mansoura and al-Bab, in the northern province of Aleppo.

The source said hundreds of militants were killed in the joined operation and a large ammunition depot belonging to the terrorists was destroyed.

Russia launched a major air campaign against foreign-sponsored terrorists in Syria on September 30 upon the request of the Syrian government.

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