Syrian army advances against Islamic State

Beirut, November 28

The Syrian army captured territory from Islamic State east of Aleppo including several kilometres of highway linking the city with the jihadists’ de facto capital of Raqqa, Syrian state TV reported today.

The areas reported captured are east of the Kweires, air base seized from Islamic State control on November 10 in one of several offensives being waged by the Syrian army with support from Russian air strikes, Iranian forces, and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. Reuters could not independently confirm the report.

A headline flashed on state TV said the army had captured the two villages of Kaskis and Akula and wide areas of agricultural land, seizing tunnels and fortifications built by the jihadists, and were demining areas mined by the group.

The villages are about 60 km east of Aleppo. The highway mentioned in the report runs southeast from Akula to the west of the Euphrates river. The road passes through IS-held Tabqa on its way to Raqqa, 150 km from Akula.