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Syrian army reaches Daesh-held Sukhna town: Monitor

Syrian government forces inspect an area recently recaptured from the Daesh terrorist group in a mountain range near the village of Khanasir, in the Aleppo province, on July 2, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

A monitoring group says Syrian government forces have reached the last town held by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists on the road to the Arab country’s beleaguered eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), affiliated to the foreign-based opposition groups, said on Friday that the army troops are on the outskirts of al-Sukhna town, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of the ancient city of Palmyra.

Al-Sukhna, the last on the desert road to Dayr al-Zawr city, and the oil and gas fields in the surrounding countryside have been held by Daesh since 2015.

Dayr al-Zawr has been effectively under siege by Daesh Takfiri militants since early 2015, when the militants launched an offensive, capturing the city of Palmyra in Homs Province, then cutting off the remaining supply line to the city.

Syria’s Tishreen newspaper also quoted a field source as saying that the Syrian army continues to advance toward al-Sukhna, saying the troops gained control of the hill of Om Khism and the mountain of al-Qalaylat, southwest of the town.

"Heavy fighting is ongoing between the two sides," SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The Britain-based monitoring group said Daesh commanders had fled to surrounding mountains as the army troops, backed by Russian airstrike, approached the town.

Syria has been gripped by conflict since March 2011. The government has repeatedly blamed certain foreign countries for the spread of the devastating militancy in the country.         

Over the past few months, Syrian forces have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements, which have in turn increased their acts of violence across the country.

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