Syrian army secures largest ISIL hotbed in Homs province

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As-Sukhnah, liberated on Sunday, was the last major city held by IS in the Syrian province of Homs.

A Syrian army unit has successfully landed in the Daesh rear on the border of Homs and Raqqa provinces and freed several villages during the operation, a Syrian military source told Sputnik on Saturday.

"Over the past two months, the larger territory has been liberated [from terrorists] than it had been under control of the Syrian government [before the Russian forces engagement]".

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The Russian warplanes have been supporting the ground Syrian troops and allied fighters in their push to clear the desert of IS.

The liberation of as-Sukhnah opens the road to the key Euphrates city of Deir ez-Zor, which has been under IS siege after being cut off from the other government-controlled areas during the May 2015 terrorist offensive on Palmyra. Today there are such key points, like Deir ez-Zor - I would say, first and foremost Deir-ez-Zor...

Earlier on Sunday, in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television channel, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said de-blocking of Deir ez-Zor, which has been seized by the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) for a few years, would be a milestone in fighting terrorism in Syria.

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