05:52 GMT +322 January 2020
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    According to an army spokesperson, Syrian army has taken control of key areas in northern Syria, and is near to completing the encirclement of a key town in the Latakia province, near Turkish border.

    LATAKIA (Sputnik) The Syrian army has taken control of key areas in northern Syria, and is near to completing the encirclement of a key town in the Latakia province still under the control of the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group, an army spokesperson said Monday.

    "We have cleared the 1122 height and virtually completed surrounding the Salma town," the spokesperson told journalists.

    The spokesperson added that some 2,000 out of an original estimate of 10,000 militants remained in the region, as others had retreated or been killed.

    Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with the country’s government fighting opposition forces and radical Islamist militant groups, including the Nusra Front and the Islamic State.

    The military conflict has claimed the lives of over 220,000 Syrians and displaced over 12 million, according to UN estimates.


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