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Syrian army launches battle against IS in desert areas
Last Updated: 2017-07-11 14:33 | Xinhua
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DAMASCUS, July 10 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army and allied fighters started on Monday the second stage of the "Great Dawn" offensive against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syrian desert, a military source told Xinhua.

The second wave of the attack has started in the eastern countryside of the capital Damascus and the countryside of the central province of Homs, where the army captured several areas on Monday, the source said, on condition of anonymity.

The Syrian troops captured the Sees mountain, south of the Seen airbase, as well as Makhoul oil field, in eastern Damascus among other areas in that part of the country.

In the eastern countryside of Homs, the army captured the Hel gas field and advanced toward oil fields in that area, following battles with IS.

The army forces also captured several hilltops and villages after battles with IS in the northeastern countryside of the southern province of Sweida.

Late last May, the army launched the "Great Dawn" offensive against IS, the biggest operation against IS in the Syrian desert.

The first wave of the attack enabled the Syrian army to capture large swathes of the eastern countryside of Homs, achieving the initial goal of reaching the Iraqi borders.

The second stage of the operation is to rid the eastern countryside of Damascus, also desert areas, from IS.

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