BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:00 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) have liberated an area along the south-western border with Iraq, close to the city of Al Bukamal, from Islamic State (IS; formerly known as ISIS, ISIL) militants on Monday.

Footage shows troops, artillery and tanks on manoeuvres. One army unit planted a Syrian flag in the ground as a symbol of their victory.

According to military sources quoted in news agency SANA, government forces retook control of 1,800 km2 (695 miles2) of desert territory surrounding Post 400 at the Iraqi border.

It is hoped that the operation will prevent Islamic State from launching further attacks on Al Bukamal.

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