In push ahead of truce, Syrian troops take villages from IS
In this photo provided by Turkey's Islamic aid group of IHH, Syrians fleeing the conflicts in Azaz region, are seen at a temporary accommodation center set up by the group near the Bab al-Salam border gate, Syria, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Turkish officials say thousands of Syrians have massed on the Syrian side of the border seeking refuge in Turkey. Officials at the government’s crisis management agency said Friday it was not clear when Turkey would open the border to allow the group in and start processing them. The refugees who fled bombing in Aleppo, were waiting at the Bab al-Salam crossing, opposite the Turkish province of Kilis.(IHH via AP)
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BEIRUT:  Syria’s state media and an opposition monitoring group say government forces have captured several villages from Islamic State extremists in the northern province of Aleppo.

The SANA news agency says government troops on Friday took three villages near the town of Khanaser, which they recaptured from the IS group the previous day.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that two villages were taken by the government troops, saying they are working to open the only road linking the city of Aleppo with central and western Syria.

The fighting comes ahead of a cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia, which is to go into effect at midnight. IS is not included in the cease-fire.

IS attacked the Khanaser area Monday, capturing the town only to lose it Thursday.

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