Syria’s government forces reclaimed 1,000 square km of the eastern countryside of Aleppo province in northern Syria from the Islamic State (IS) group, reported a monitor group on Tuesday.
The victory came following fierce battles with the IS, which caved in and withdrew from that part of the city.
The military operation has been ongoing for weeks, and the IS yielded the area as the army attempted to reach the town of Khafseh, where Aleppo city’s main water source is located, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UK-based watchdog group said the IS withdrew most of its militants from Khafseh as well as other areas.
The army launched its offensive against the IS in the eastern countryside of Aleppo on Jan. 17 of this year, killing hundreds of IS militants.
Syrian government forces have reached the city of Manbij in Aleppo’s northeastern countryside, controlled by the Kurdish-backed Manbij Military Council (MMC).
Coordination between Russia and the Kurdish fighters led the MMC to recently hand over areas in the western countryside of Manbij to the Syrian army.
The purpose of that move is for Manbij to serve as a dividing line between Kurdish-led groups and advancing Turkish-backed forces aiming to dislodge Kurdish groups from Manbij.
Furthermore, the U.S.-led anti-terrorist coalition deployed forces close to Manbij to distance the IS and separate Turkish-backed forces from Kurdish-led ones.