Syria’s Army and its allies have seized more than 80 percent of Daesh’s last stronghold in the country, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.
The London-based group said Sunday Syrian troops re-entered Albu Kamal two days ago, taking most of it from the Takfiri group by Saturday following a huge offensive which began on Friday night.
The town in Syria’s oil-rich Dayr al-Zawr has become the scene of fierce clashes since government troops entered it a week ago and announced its liberation but then faced terrorists who had hidden in underground tunnels.
The so-called observatory’s spokesman Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP Sunday that Daesh terrorists were pushed back to the northern and northeastern sectors of the city and clashes were ongoing.
The fresh push came with heavy airstrikes and troops were advancing more “carefully” than in their previous assault to ensure their gains would not be rolled back, it said.
Syrian state television aired live footage from Albu Kamal, saying the army was preparing to “storm the remaining areas” held by Daesh in Albu Kamal’s east.
“What has most impeded the Syrian army’s advance is the large amounts of mines left by Daesh and its attempt at using families as human shields,” it said.
Albu Kamal, near the border with Iraq, was the last significant town held by Daesh in the country after a string of defeats which have put the Takfiri group on the brink of elimination in both countries.
Israeli tank fire
Daesh’s defeat has coincided with a rise in Israeli attacks against Syrian troops and their allies and threats of a wider invasion.
On Saturday, an Israeli tank fired at a Syrian military position in the northern Golan Heights following what Tel Aviv alleged as construction work there.
Reports said the incident took place near the Syrian Druze village of Hader, which was targeted by Nusra Front terrorists two weeks ago.
The attack on Hader, which began with a terrorist blowing up a car and killing nine people, raised concern about Israeli intentions to use the incident as a pretext to occupy the village and other areas nearby.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled that Tel Aviv would take military action in Syria when it saw fit.
The regime seized 1,200 square kilometers of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.
Hader is situated in the part of the occupied territory that is under the Syrian control, and its population is aligned with the Syrian government.
After the attack, people in the Golan Heights held a protest to condemn what they called Israel’s support for anti-Damascus terrorists. Israeli forces were deployed to the area then to disperse the protesters.
Israel is widely believed to be providing al-Nusra with weapons, salaries, medical aid and intelligence to fight Syrian troops and keep them at bay from the territories under the occupation.
Tel Aviv has also repeatedly targeted the Syrian army positions, with Damascus saying the attacks were aimed at propping up the militants.