The Syrian army has crossed the boundary of Raqqa province after advancing in a major Russian-backed offensive against ISIS militants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group, said Saturday.


Heavy Russian airstrikes hit ISIS-held territory in eastern areas of Syria’s Hama province, near the boundary of Raqqa province, Friday and the army reached the edge of the province.


Raqqa city, further east, is ISIS’ de facto capital in Syria and, along with Mosul in Iraq, the ultimate target of those seeking to destroy the group’s self-declared caliphate.


The three big offensives are some of the most aggressive campaigns against ISIS since it declared its aim to rule over all Muslims from parts of Iraq and Syria two years ago.




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