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Syrian army defeats IS in eastern Hama countryside
The Syrian army and allied fighters ended the presence of the Islamic State (IS) group in the eastern countryside of Hama province in central Syria on Wednesday, a military source told Xinhua.
The achievement comes after the army retook over 50 towns and villages since unleashing its offensive to clear eastern Hama from IS on the third of September.
With this achievement, the entire province of Hama has become clear of IS.
Meanwhile, the source said the bomb squads are mopping up the villages in eastern Hama in search of bombs.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war watchdog group, said 407 IS militants have been killed during the battles in eastern Hama countryside since last month.
A day earlier, the Syrian army succeeded to slice through an enclave controlled by the IS militants between the central provinces of Hama and Homs.
The Syrian army has previously managed to besiege IS in an enclave between the eastern countryside of Homs and Hama provinces.
But on Tuesday the Syrian forces sliced through those areas, separating the IS-held areas in the eastern countryside of Hama from those in the eastern countryside of Homs.
The defeat of IS in Hama adds to their losses in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, a main IS stronghold, where the terror-designated group is losing control, as well as in the northern city of Raqqa, the IS de facto capital.
The observatory previously said that the Syrian army is in control of 75 percent of the capital city of Deir al-Zour, and currently besieging the IS-held areas in the city.
It added that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controls over 90 percent of Raqqa.
[Source: Xinhua, Damascus, 04Oct17]
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