" The Al Qaeda off-shoot has been moving to capture the Tabbaka airbase, the last remaining military position in al-Raqqa, which would leave the whole province completely under its control. "
Damascus, Aug 8 - At least 13 rebels were killed Friday when the Syrian army pounded their positions in the country's northern region of Jisr al-Shughur, media reports said.

The Syrian army forces targeted terrorists' positions near the town of Tal al-Dahab in the mountainous region of Jist al-Shughur in Idlib province, Xinhua reported citing the state news agency SANA. Some of the killed militants were foreigners, it added.

The Syrian forces also killed terrorists at the town of Latamneh in the central province of Hama.

In the southern province of Daraa - deemed as the birthplace of the long-standing Syrian crisis - SANA said many armed rebels were killed by the Syrian forces.

A day earlier, SANA reported the killing of 200 rebels by the Syrian troops near the capital Damascus.

The latest operations of the Syrian army came at a time when the fighters of the so-called Islamic State (IS) have made new strides in their battles against the government troops, mainly in the northern province of al-Raqqa, where the IS has recently stripped the army of two major bases.

The Al Qaeda off-shoot has been moving to capture the Tabbaka airbase, the last remaining military position in al-Raqqa, which would leave the whole province completely under its control.

The IS, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, has recently self-proclaimed an Islamic Caliphate in areas in Syria and Iraq. It has succeeded in capturing most of the oilfields in the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria on the borders with Iraq.


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