BEIRUT, March 6. /TASS/. The Syrian army is expanding its counterterrorism operation in the northeast of Aleppo (360 kilometers of Damascus). A source in the Syrian command told the SANA news agency that government forces and militias drove Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) terrorists out of seven populated localities in this area, adding that stability and security have been restored there.
According to the source, almost 30 mercenaries of different nationalities were discovered among the eliminated terrorists. Three of them - Khalaf al-Hussein, Abu Zeid al-Tunisi and Abu Obaid al-Usrali - were wanted by the authorities.
More than 50 villages have been liberated in this area east of Aleppo since February. The army is just 11 kilometers away from the el-Hafsa pumping station still held by the Islamic State. Regaining control over this facility will make it possible to ensure the supply of water to Aleppo and its vicinities.
The aim of the Syrian armed forces’ operation is getting to the Assad reservoir on the Euphrates and liberating the villages located on its shores. Government forces are also approaching the Kashish military airfield located 5 kilometers from the city of Deir Hafer.
Battles rage on against the Jabhat al-Nusra band of extremists (terror group, outlawed in Russia) in the Hama and Idlib provinces in the country’s northwest region. According to SANA, Syrian troops carried out a missile strike against a terrorist camp in the area wiping out 48 militants, including some field commanders.