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Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Regains Control of Strategic Town in Hama

13921228000230_PhotoIThe Syrian army made major advances in Hama countryside and regained control of a strategic town in the region.
The army took control of Khanifes town in suburban Hama and killed tens of Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the area.
Also in the past 24 hours, Arab news websites reported that a notorious Takfiri Sheikh has been killed in fierce clashes with the Syrian army.
The websites affiliated to terrorist groups released pictures of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Asir and announced that he has been killed in Yabroud in Damascus countryside.
Meantime, the military sources announced that the Syrian army is planning to launch a new phase of military operations in a strategic area in Damascus countryside.
The army units are preparing to begin the third stage of their operation in Qalamoun area in the outskirts of Damascus, a military source told FNA on Tuesday.
Also, An Israeli commander admitted that the Israeli military is in contact with the foreign-backed militant groups operating inside Syria.
The Israeli commander said the militants provide Israeli spy agents with information on the identity and medical condition of the wounded militants.
Elsewhere, Syrian army forces began an attack on the last rebel-held areas in the Qalamoun mountains, strategically located on the Lebanese border, after overrunning a key rebel bastion.
The capture of the town of Yabroud Sunday by Syrian troops came shortly after the conflict entered its fourth year and marked a significant setback for the militants as it severs their supply lines from across the border.
The army began an offensive against remaining rebel enclaves in Qalamoun Monday evening, including shelling the village of Flita, a source said.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is dreaming to establish an “Islamic Emirate” in the Northern parts of Syria, local sources said.
The ISIL intends to seize Qameshli after its capture of Mourkadeh to annex them to the regions already under its control in Reqqa and Aleppo countryside, a local source told FNA, elaborating on the terrorist group’s plan.
The ISIL is now in control of vast areas in border regions with Iraq in Hasaka, Reqqa and parts of Aleppo countryside.
Meantime, a Syrian opposition leader admitted that regaining control over the strategic city of Yabroud has been an astonishingly great victory for the army, which will play a decisive role in the war in Syria.
“The advances made by the army in Yabroud are as important as victories in Al-Qussair,” Syrian Opposition activist Fateh Jamous told FNA, although he insisted that the crisis in Syria should be settled through non-military means.
He underlined that the Syrian army is capable of making many advances in different fronts and also gaining victories in the long-run.
The Syrian army captured Yabroud last week, a former terrorist bastion in Syria near the Lebanese border. Lebanese security forces complained earlier that many of the car bombs used in previous suicide car attacks originated from the same city.
A large number of terrorists, including a commander of the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, were killed in the army’s operation.
Liberating Yabroud would help the government choke off the militants’ cross-border supply line.

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