Syrian army captures five oil fields in Raqqa from IS

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-18 05:39:23|Editor: yan
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DAMASCUS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army on Monday captured five oil fields south of the northern city of Raqqa, following battles with the Islamic State (IS) group, a military source told Xinhua.

The Syrian army captured the Dbaisan, Houran, Bir Rmailan, Zamleh, Rajem Jouzeh oil fields in the southern countryside of Raqqa, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the advance of the Syrian army in the southern countryside of Raqqa, close to the northern countryside of Homs province in central Syria.

The UK-based watchdog group said the advance of the Syrian army ended the presence of IS in the western and southwestern countryside of Raqqa.

The Syrian army has been on a crushing offensive against IS in the Syrian desert in central Syria, the southern province of Sweida, and the southern countryside of Raqqa.

In Raqqa city, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Monday they had made new progress against the IS militants.

The SDF said its forces have liberated 57 of the old wall of Raqqa, adding that its fighters also clashed with IS in the Sina'a neighborhood near the walls of the old city.

It added that the foreign commanders of IS are fleeing the city.

The SDF also claimed to have captured large swathes of Hisham Bin Abdul-Malek neighborhood in Raqqa on Tuesday amid ongoing battles with the terror-designated group.

But June 6 this year marked the intrusion part of the battles into the heartland of IS in the city of Raqqa, which was self-declared by IS as its de facto capital in 2014.

Since then, the SDF succeeded to capture key areas on the western and eastern flanks of the city, and recently laid full siege on all exits and stormed the walls of the old city of Raqqa.

Still, both the SDF and the Syrian army are fighting separately, with appearance coordination between their backers, the U.S. and Russia.