Islamic State (IS) militants have been defeated in northern Syria by rebel fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, according to sources close to the fighting.
Military airplanes bombed IS targets to help ground forces in Syria defeat IS fighters. The United States led air support in the area near Aleppo.
Reports say Russian warplanes killed 40 IS militants in eastern Syria.
Forces loyal to Assad and supported by Russia recently took back the town of Palmyra from militants in late March. Palmyra and neighboring Tadmur are important because they are along IS supply lines that go from Iraq’s Anbar province to Homs province in Syria.
IS has not had a successful ground offensive in Syria since May 2015, when it captured Palmyra.
Recently, troops fighting against Assad stopped a jihadist attack in the Aleppo countryside in Syria. IS also has lost ground near the Syrian-Turkish border.
A rebel fighter from Jaysh al-Sunna carries food as he walks along a sand barricade in Tel Mamo village, in the southern countryside of Aleppo, Syria, March 13, 2016.
A rebel spokesman said “more than 15 militants were killed” in those clashes.
IS fighters withdrew from eastern areas in Homs province, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
IS forces still hold the city of Raqqa in Syria. But lawlessness – including executions and robberies – may show that IS is losing control, says an anti-IS network group. Activists say IS members are forcing local children into joining the group.
Syrian soldiers celebrate their victory against the Islamic State group in Qaryatain, Syria, April 4, 2016.
IS militants executed eight young men west of Raqqa, according to VOA News and local ARA News. Reports also say former IS members are trying to flee. Others have been accused of stealing or corruption.
Jamie Dettmer reported this story for VOANews.com. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck and Mario Ritter were the editors.
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Words in This Story
according - prep. as stated by
source - n. someone or something that provides what is wanted or needed
jihadist – n. related to those fighting a religious war to defend or spread their beliefs