The entire Aleppo province has been secured from Islamic State terrorists, General Samir Suleiman, head of information for the Syrian Arab Army, confirmed to RT.
“The Syrian army has secured Aleppo province from Islamic State terrorists,” General Suleiman told RT over the phone. “That happened this afternoon, after reinforcements came in from the south-west.”
Earlier on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters have abandoned the last area they held in Aleppo province.
The withdrawal came after government forces dislodged militants from the Ithriya-Rasafa road and areas east of Khanaser, Reuters reported, citing the media unit of Hezbollah, a Lebanese armed group, which is an ally of the Syrian Army.
“A crucial road linking Hama and Aleppo province was recaptured from ISIS – and that means that the whole province is now liberated,” General Suleiman told RT.
Aleppo, which was Syria’s largest city before the start of the civil war in 2011, remained split between militants and government forces for years. The Syrian Army, which was assisted by the Russian Air Force, finally liberated it in December last year.
The Syrian Army continued their advances on Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front positions in other parts on the country on Friday, according to SANA news agency.
Government forces have established control over “the entire area stretching from al-Rasafa in the southern countryside of Raqqa to the town of Athrya in the eastern countryside of Hama,” liberating 13 villages, a military source told the agency.
The Syrian Army has destroyed over a hundred terrorist vehicles, including six tanks and two APCs, the source added.
In eastern Homs province, the military dislodged IS fitters from three-kilometer area to the north and east of Arak gas station during an “intense operation.”
According to Sana, “heavy clashes” are also underway to south of the city of Deir ez-Zor, with the government inflicting significant losses to the jihadist manpower and equipment.