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IS fighters almost encircled in Syrian desert: monitor

Syrian regime troops have seized more territory from the Islamic State jihadist group in a central desert region, almost entirely surrounding its fighters there, a monitor said Friday. Backed by Russian warplanes and pro-government militias, the Syrian army has made considerable progress in its months-long offensive to retake the Badiya. The vast desert region, which stretches from the country's centre to the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, has been held by IS since 2014.
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