Syrian army captures village from Islamic State
Syrian army personnel fire a cannon in Latakia province, about 12 from the border with Turkey in Syria - AP

BEIRUT: The Syrian army has seized a village from Islamic State in western Syria, state media and a group monitoring the war reported on Tuesday, retaking territory in an area where the jihadist group had recently advanced near a vital north-south highway.

The captured village, al-Hadath, is about 30 km (20 miles) east of the highway linking the cities of Damascus and Homs. Islamic State was reported to have captured the nearby village of Maheen on Nov. 1.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, said heavy clashes were under way between government forces and Islamic State fighters at Hawareen, which adjoins Maheen.

A newsflash on state TV said government forces were successfully advancing towards Hawareen, Maheen, and Qarayatain, which Islamic State seized from government control in August.

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