The Syrian army has made more gains in the fight against the foreign backed Takfiri group in the southern part of the Middle Eastern country, Press TV reports.
The fight in the southern area is of utmost significance as the villages and little towns there connect the strategic provinces of Quneitra and Dara’a as well as the Governorate of the Countryside of Damascus.
Over the past few days the Syrian army has flushed out militants belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front from a number of villages and small towns in the southwestern province of Dara’a.
The Syrian army is set to take control of the hills overlooking the towns and villages in the area.
“The main issue is to control the hills not the towns. We are trying to avoid engaging the terrorists in the towns to avoid destroying these towns. Once we take the hills, it will be easier for us to control areas unreached,” a Syrian officer said.
On Saturday, Syrian troopers, backed by fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, established control over the villages of Nabe’ al-Sakher and Tal al-Bazzaq in Quneitra Province, situated some 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the capital, Damascus, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.
The Syrian army also dealt a blow to foreign-sponsored militants by capturing the villages of al-Habaria, Kherbet Sultana, Hamreet, Tal Qurein and Tal Antar in the province of Dara’a.
ISIL releases 19 out of 220 Assyrian hostages
Meanwhile at least 19 out of the 220 Assyrians held hostage by the ISIL Takfiri group have been released.
“Nineteen Assyrian hostages arrived on Sunday at the Church of Our Lady in Hasakeh after they were released by IS,” Osama Edward, the director of the Assyrian Network for Human Rights said on Sunday.
It is said that the hostages, 17 men and 2 women, were released after a ransom was paid for their freedom.
“They arrived on two buses from Shaddadeh,” which is one of the strongholds of the Takfiri group in the northeastern province of Hasakeh.
The activist did not provide any details on the amount of the ransom paid.
The 19 Assyrian Christians are part of the 220 members of the community, which the terrorists kidnapped on February 23 when storming the town of Tel Tamer in the countryside of Hasakah Province.
The terrorist group has been committing horrific crimes in all regions under its control in Iraq and Syria.
Hundreds of Assyrians have already abandoned their villages to avoid bloody clashes.
Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 210,000 people, according to reports. New figures show that over 76,000 people, including thousands of children, lost their lives in Syria last year.
Over 3.8 million Syrians have left their country since the beginning of the crisis. More than 7.2 million Syrians have also become internally displaced, according to the UN.