Syrian troops advance toward IS-held border town

AP , Monday 23 Oct 2017

Syrian Soldiers
frame grab from video, shows Syrian soldiers patrolling in the street of Qaryatayn, a town in central Syria which was recaptured from Islamic State group militants on Saturday. The bodies of at least 67 Syrian civilians, many summarily killed by the Islamic State group, have been discovered in Qaryatayn, activists said Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. (AP)

Pro-government media is reporting that Syrian troops have taken up a position allowing them to fire down on a supply route between an Islamic State-held town on the Iraqi border and a nearby desert outpost.

Pro-government forces are closing in on the frontier town of Boukamal, the last major IS stronghold in the country after the militants were driven from their de facto capital in the northern city of Raqqa as well as the eastern town of Mayadeen.

The Central Military Media, a pro-military media outlet, said Monday Syrian troops and allied militias have encircled the T-2 pumping station in southern Deir el-Zour province following clashes with the militants.

A race is underway between U.S.-backed Syrian forces and Russia-backed government troops in the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province. In a swift advance Sunday, U.S.-allied Syrian forces captured the country's largest oil field from IS.

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