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Syrian army plans advance into militant-held Raqqah Province: Source

13 February 2016 22:30


The Syrian army intends to advance into the militant-held northern province of Raqqah, after having liberated several positions at the provincial border of the militants’ stronghold.

According to a Syrian military source, the army has captured positions at the provincial border between Hama and Raqqah in the last two days and now seeks to advance further.

“It is an indication of the direction of coming operations toward Raqqah. In general, the Raqqah front is open … starting in the direction of the Tabqa area,” the source said on Saturday.

Tabqa is the location of an air base which was captured by Daesh in 2014. The source said the army had moved to within 35 kilometers (20 miles) of the base.

A move into Raqqah Province is believed to complicate any attempt by Saudi Arabia to send ground forces to the area to allegedly fight the Daesh Takfiri militants.

Apart from the Saudi regime, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have expressed willingness to send troops to Syria to join the US-led campaign against the terrorist group.

On Saturday, the Syrian army managed to liberate the village of al-Tamoura in the northern province of Aleppo.

The village is located on high ground above the towns of Anadan, Hayan and Haritan, which are held by Takfiri militants.

Syrian forces, backed by Russian air cover, have been advancing in the area to cut the supply line of Takfiri militants with Turkey and get back full control of Aleppo, which is Syria’s largest city and served as a commercial hub before the conflict began in the Arab country in March 2011.

Elsewhere in Syria, army units also clashed with Daesh Takfiri terrorists in the province of Hama, killing 10 militants.

Government forces also targeted hideouts belonging to Daesh elements in the northeastern countryside of Suwayda Province, located in southern Syria, attacking terrorists in the village of Rajam al-Dawla.

On Friday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the government forces will retake the whole country from terrorists.

Assad warned that the involvement of regional countries in the conflict meant that the process to liberate Syria would take a long time.

He said it would be possible to end the war “in less than a year” if militant supply routes from neighboring countries were cut.

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