The Syrian army and its allies were fighting on Saturday in Islamic State's last pocket in central Syria after taking the heavily defended village of Uqairabat, in the province of Hama, on Friday, a war monitor reported. Saskia O'Donoghue reports
The Syrian army and its allies are a little closer to defeating Islamic State, according to a war report. Footage released by the Syrian army shows Russian helicopters and artilery firing at the group's last pocket in central Syria. It follows the announcement made by Lebanon's Hezbollah group on Friday that the army had recaptured the heavily defended village Uqairabat, described as Islamic State's stronghold in the region. The Hama province has been the site of intense fighting for months. And it's an important battle. Evicting jihadists from the area is viewed as necessary to improve security on the main road running between the cities of Homs and Aleppo. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the army and its allies has also taken other villages in the area, But total control of the area comes at a price, as the battle to reclaim IS' last central bastion in Syria continues to be fierce.