Syrian Army Secures Islamic State-Held Town In Homs Province

Islamic State's flag

Islamic State's flag

"On August 13, 2017, in a joint action of the Russian Aerospace Force, units of the governmental forces and militia west of the Homs Province, Es Sukhne is fully liberated from militants of the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia - TASS)", the ministry said.

The army finished combing the city and dismantling explosive devices left by the IS militants, said the report, adding that tens of the extremists were killed and many of their weaponry had been destroyed.

The town is also located some 50 km (30 miles) from the provincial boundary of Deir Al Zor province, IS's last major foothold in Syria and a major target for the Syrian government.

The Russian warplanes have been supporting the ground Syrian troops and allied fighters in their push to clear the desert of IS.

The liberation of as-Sukhnah opens the road to the key Euphrates city of Deir ez-Zor, which has been under IS siege after being cut off from the other government-controlled areas during the May 2015 terrorist offensive on Palmyra. The Syrian government still controls a pocket of territory in Deir Al Zor city, and a nearby military base.

Separately, Press TV's Syria correspondent Mohamad Ali reported from the northwestern city of Suwayda that the army had managed to reach the border with Jordan for the first time since 2011, when militancy began in Syria.

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President Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday that U.S. "But the objective of capable, ready forces is to preserve peace and prevent war".

"Colleagues came in the morning for the change of shift and found them dead", its director, Rami Abdel Rahman, said.

"Two minibuses, some white helmets and walkie-talkies were stolen".

The White Helmets emerged in 2013, working to rescue civilians in rebel-held areas.

Although they work exclusively in rebel-held areas, they insist they are non-partisan. Since they are funded by a number of Western governments, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies often accuse them of supporting rebels and terrorists, as well as being "tools of their worldwide donors".

They receive funding from a number of western governments, including Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

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