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Syrian armed forces making advances in Hama Province

This file photo shows Syrian government forces driving a tank on a road in the Maysar neighborhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP photo)

Syrian government forces are making headway in the center of the country with the help of Russian airstrikes, gaining more grounds in the western province of Hama.

Syrian state television said on Monday that government troops took control of the village of Kafr Nabuda in the province. 

However, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported clashes in the village after Syrian forces entered the site, adding that the Syrian troops “captured the southern district of Kafr Nabuda" while being backed by more than 20 Russian airstrikes.

"The clashes are the fiercest since the Russian air campaign began on September 30," the UK-based group added.

Syrian government forces are planning to take back the town of Khan Sheikhun, which is located on the strategic Damascus-Aleppo highway across the provincial border in neighboring Idlib.

The Syrian army, meanwhile, said in a Monday statement that its forces have made advances in the northern countryside of Hama in addition to recapturing the towns and villages of Atshan, Qubeibat, Maarakaba, Oum Harten, Sekik, Tal Sekik, Tal al-Sakher, and al-Bahsa, Syria’s SANA official news agency reported.

The army added that Syrian troops destroyed command centers, weapon and ammunition depots, several armored vehicles and machine gun-mounted vehicles, three US-made TOW missile launch pads, as well as 20 vehicles belonging to Takfiri militants during their operation. A large number of terrorists were also killed.

In the northern countryside of Latakia Province, army units took control of the towns of Jub al-Ahmar and Kafar Delbe, in addition to Katef Jouret al-Batikh hills and Ruwaiset Khandaq Jamo, the statement said, adding that the army captured the southeastern outskirts of Salma town.

The Syrian armed forces also gained grounds in Aleppo Province after inflicting heavy losses on Daesh Takfiri terrorists, the military noted.

Russia keeps pounding Daesh 

In a separate development on Monday, Russia's Defense Ministry said its fighter jets struck 53 targets in Syria.

According to a statement by the ministry, the Russian Air Force carried out raids in the provinces of Hama, Homs, Latakia and Idlib, destroying "terrorist" command posts, defensive positions, training camps and ammunition depots.

This image taken from video shows smoke rising after a Russian airstrike hit positions in the town of Latamna in the area of Hama in Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. (AP photo)


“Strikes conducted by Russian warplanes have destroyed a considerable portion of their weapons, ammunition and fuel for military equipment," the statement said.

Moscow’s air campaign kicked off on September 30 at the request of the Syrian government and has mainly targeted the positions of Daesh and other terrorists groups operating in Hama along with parts of the neighboring provinces of Latakia and Idlib.

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