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Syria liberates villages in Aleppo, Hama and Latakia

This January 13, 2016 photo released by Syria's official SANA news agency shows pro-government forces advancing around the town of Salma in the northwestern province of Latakia.

Syrian military and allied volunteer fighters have liberated six major villages in the north and the west of the country as a massive anti-Takfiri mop-up operation picks up speed. 

Syrian military officials said allied forces on Wednesday retook control of the village of Harbanafseh in the southern countryside of Hama Province in western Syria.

There were also reports of pro-government forces taking control of the village of Ayn al-Baydha and its surrounding farms in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, a major province in northern Syria.

The advances came as Syria's military continued clearing areas surrounding the strategic town of Salma, in the northwestern province of Latakia, which was liberated on Tuesday. Syrian media said the villages of al-Sheikh Khalil, Marj Khukhah, al-Maruniyat and Bait Miro were recaptured on Wednesday.

Syria’s official SANA news agency said the retaking of villages came in the wake of fierce clashes with Takfiri militants, which began late on Tuesday. It added that “many” terrorists had been killed.

Fierce clashes were also under way in Aleppo’s north, where Syrian forces are trying to recapture the Baghdayn village. At least 10 militants were reportedly killed in the confrontation.

Syrian air force also said it has killed dozens of militants in airstrikes it carried out around the city of Homs, in western Syria.

Syrian forces have been battling terrorist militants on different fronts throughout Syria since March 2011, when the foreign-sponsored militancy began. Over 250,000 people have been killed during the past few years of turmoil while millions of others have been displaced. 

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