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ISIS withdrew its remaining forces from Aleppo Governorate on Friday, according to local sources. The jihadist group is believed to be drawing back into the Syrian Desert, in anticipation of further advances by the Syrian Army.
The Syrian Army had been advancing on a sliver of southeastern Aleppo around Highway 42, which links the Hama and Raqqa Governorates.
On Thursday, Regime troops took control of the strategic highway, forcing the remaining ISIS militants to abandon their positions or risk encirclement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed on Friday that ISIS withdrew from 17 towns and villages, which were then secured by Russia-backed troops.
“ISIS is now effectively outside of Aleppo province after having a presence there for four years,” the monitoring group reported.
A Syrian military source confirmed the news, telling the AFP that the “operation is ongoing and ISIS has withdrawn from the Aleppan countryside towards rural territory in Hama and Raqqa.”
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