DAMASCUS, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on Friday performed the special prayers of the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival in a town, close to the barren region where the Islamic State (IS) has recently surrendered.
The president took part in the prayers held in a mosque in the town of Qara in the western Qalamoun region some 120 km northwest of Damascus, state news agency SANA said.
The town itself has largely remained with the Syrian army throughout the crisis, but its barren region, near the Lebanese territory, had been held by the Islamic State (IS) and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.
In a sweeping operation last month, the Syrian army and Hezbollah defeated the Nusra militants first and launched another offensive against the IS in that region.
Both have been defeated, with around 310 IS militants were finally transferred out of Qara toward the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, following a deal they struck with Hezbollah.
Still, the convoy of the IS militants hasn't reached their destination after the U.S. coalition struck the road leading to the city of Bukamal in the countryside of Deir al-Zour to prevent the convoy from arriving.
The operation in the barrens of Qara has enabled the army to clear the entire borderline with Lebanon.