DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:30 P.M.) – Maskanah town, the last stronghold of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) in eastern Aleppo countryside is now encircled by Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from three flanks: north, west and east.

On Wednesday, SAA’s elite Tiger Forces division conducted fresh assault southwest of Maskanah striking IS positions in Khirbet Al-Far and ultimately capturing this village after several hours of firefights.

As a result of this advance, SAA’s frontline positions overlook Maskanah-Tabqa-Raqqa road which is now the only remaining way for IS jihadists to withdraw from Maskanah.

Preliminary reports have already emerged suggesting that IS militants retreated from the town, only leaving suicide squads behind to slow down and delay government forces advance in the area.

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