The Islamic State (IS) group has expelled the government troops from Syria’s northern province of al-Raqqa, a monitor group reported Monday.
The IS unleashed a wide scale offensive on Monday, managing to reverse the progress of the Syrian army and allied fighters, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Syrian army retreated to a place 40 kilometer away from the al-Tabaqa airbase in al-Raqqa countryside; formerly they were only seven kilometers from that spot, which was the main goal of the military offensive on al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of the IS.
The observatory said the army is out of the administrative borders of al-Raqqa again.
The Syrian army entered al-Raqqa’s administrative borders on June 4, days after offensive against the route between the town of Athriya in the central province of Hama, and the Al-Tabaqa town in al-Raqqa countryside.
Pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV said the aim of attacking Al-Raqqa is to recapture the town of Al-Tabqa due to its strategic importance.
It would enable Syrian army to sever key routes linking Al-Raqqa to the northern province of Aleppo, where IS controls some of the border towns near Turkey and from where it smuggles fighters and weapons.