The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) said it had made a significant gain in al-Hajar al-Aswad on Thursday by splitting a pocket of so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters from a key strategic point just a few kilometres south of Damascus, according to Syrian State News Agency SANA.

The army units reportedly attacked the fortified dens in al-Hajar al-Aswad from two directions accompanied by precise artillery and missile strikes.

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