13:03 GMT +327 June 2019
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    Syrian Army Repels Daesh Attack Near Deir ez-Zor Airbase

    After Fierce Fighting Syrian Army Retakes Strategic Town in Deraa Province

    © AFP 2019 / GEORGE OURFALIAN
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    In its fight against Daesh, also known as IS/Islamic State, the Syrian Army has liberated Sheikh Maskin, a strategic town in the Deraa province, along a major supply route.

    Last month, the Syrian Army launched an offensive on Sheikh Maskin, supported by Russian airstrikes. A strategic hub linking the Suwaida, Quneitra and Damascus provinces to the southern part of Syria, the town also links eastern and western Deraa.

    According to monitors on the ground, Sheikh Maskin has been retaken after less than a month of fierce fighting.

    "The town is very important for both sides. They have both fought fiercely. Now by taking it, the regime has cut off the rebels links between eastern and western Deraa," said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The town is back in the control of the Syrian government, but sustained heavy damage during the fighting.

    Holding Sheikh Maskin will allow the Syrian Army to push onward to al-Harra hill, the highest point in the Deraa province.

    With the assistance of Russian airstrikes, the Syrian government has made a number of advances. Earlier on Monday, reports surfaced that insurgents had been stopped at the town of Baqaliyeh. Daesh is said to have suffered heavy losses.

    "The Daesh strongholds near the villages were massively bombed by the Syrian warplanes, which claimed the lives of many terrorists and wounded many others," the army sources said.

    Syrian forces have also liberated roughly 46 square miles of the Latakia province.

    "Syrian Arab army in cooperation with militias gained control over 120 kilometers of Latakia province's territory in the last two days," according to a Syrian Army statement released on Sunday.

    Russia launched its air campaign in Syria on September 30, and has since carried out thousands of sorties. Acting at the behest of the legitimate government of the country, President Bashar al Assad, the airstrikes have eliminated thousands of Daesh targets.

    Related:

    Syrian Army Liberates Some 45 Square Miles in Latakia Province in Two Days
    Syrian Army Gains Control Over Key Town in Latakia Near Turkish Border
    Kicked Out: Terrorists on the Run as Syrian Army Advances in Latakia
    Tags:
    airstrike, Daesh, Syrian Army, Sheikh Maskin, Latakia, Deraa, Russia, Syria
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