TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Syrian army encircled militants in a cluster of towns in northwest Syria's Hama countryside, marching deeper into the pocket, a report said.
- World news -
Syrian troops seized a dozen hills and expanded their control of a main highway there, state-run al-Ikhbariya TV said on Friday in a live broadcast from the nearby town of Khan Sheykhoun.
It said much of the area, which includes a few towns and their environs which militants have held for years, was now either under army control or within its firing range.
The Syrian forces took full control of Khan Sheykhoun on Wednesday.
The significant advances came after days of heavy fighting against militant groups in the Idlib region such as the Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group who has been controlling the region since January, according to reports.
On August 5, the Syrian army declared in a statement the start of an offensive against foreign-sponsored militants in Idlib after those positioned in the de-escalation zone failed to honor a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey and continued to target civilian neighborhoods.