At least 59 killed in fight for IS stronghold in Syria



CAIRO (dpa)- At least 59 people have been killed in ongoing clashes in a stronghold of the Islamic State extremist militia in Syria's central province of Hama, a monitoring group reported on Saturday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 21 members of the Syrian army and allied paramilitaries were killed in fierce fighting against Islamic State in Hama. At least 38 extremists were also killed.



Islamic State militants on Saturday regained the western section of the town of Aqirbat and two villages in Hama's eastern countryside, hours after regime forces seized them, the group said.
The hard-liners launched a counter-attack using car bombs to reverse the regime forces' advance, added the watchdog that relies on a network of activists in war-torn Syria for information.
Over the past few days, the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, supported by Russian warplanes, have stepped up attacks against Islamic State in the area.
In recent months, al-Assad's forces, backed by Russian air power, have gained ground in different parts of Syria from opposition rebels backed by several Western countries and from radical jihadists.
Syria's crisis began with peaceful anti-government demonstrations in March 2011.
The conflict soon spiralled into a multilateral civil war that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced about half of Syria's pre-war population of 22 million.
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Sunday, September 3rd 2017
dpa
           


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