IS wins ground from Assad govt in east

Rebel fighters take up positions on the frontline against forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Handarat area, north of Aleppo on Monday.

Rebel fighters take up positions on the frontline against forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in the Handarat area, north of Aleppo on Monday.

BEIRUT: Islamic State won territory from Syrian government forces in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Tuesday, its first gain there in about two months, a group that tracks the civil war reported.

Fighters from both sides were killed during the clashes in Deir Ezzor city, about 450 km northeast of Damascus in a province bordering Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said without giving a death toll. The militant group, which is also battling Kurdish forces for control of the town of Kobani at the Turkish border, brought reinforcements to Deir Ezzor in recent days, Abdulrahman said.

The US air force dropped arms to Kurds defending Kobani on Monday. Washington has ruled out such cooperation with the government of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

 
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