DAMASCUS, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Syrian army captured a key town in northern countryside of Aleppo province on Sunday, following battles with Islamic State (IS) group, according to state news agency SANA.
Capturing the town of Tadef enables the Syrian army to secure transportation routes in eastern Aleppo, and constitute a base for launching attacks and undermining the presence of the IS militants in that part of the province, a general-command of the Syrian army said in a statement.
The town is also located southeast of city al-Bab, which has recently been captured by Turkish forces and allied rebel fighters.
The Syrian army unleashed a wide-scale offensive in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, after succeeding to wrest control over the city of Aleppo last December.
The offensive enabled the military forces to become in control of 600 km east of Aleppo.
Also, the army has laid a siege on the southern rim of al-Bab city, to secure the eastern part of Aleppo city from the IS attacks, or the possible advance of the Turkish-backed rebels.
Observers believe that there was a Russian-Turkish understanding for splitting the battles in al-Bab.
For the Turks, capturing al-Bab cuts the way in the face of the growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria, a red line drawn by Turkey.
For the Syrian army, laying a siege to al-Bab from its southern edge prevents IS fighters to withdraw toward other stronghold in eastern province of Deir al-Zour, or northern city of al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of the terror-designated group.
The Syrian government has always looked to the Turkish moves in northern Syria as an encroachment upon the sovereignty of the country, claiming that Ankara is capturing areas in northern Syria to build a wall, which could be a prelude to setting Ankara's long-demanded safe zones in northern Syria, near the Turkish borders.