Assads-regime-takes-back-strategic-Syrian-town-from-Islamic-State. DAMASCUS, Syria, The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assadon Thursday took back control of Khanasser, a strategic town recently seized by the Isis.
The IS captured the town on Wednesday but the Syrian Armed Forces regained control a day later following intense bombings carried out by Russian forces. At least 35 Syrian soldiers died in the recapture of the town, which is near a main highway used by the Syrian military to access Aleppo.
Khanasser is about 31 miles southeast of Aleppo. Syria has been blighted by a nearly five-year complex civil war in which the IS, the Syrian government and multiple Syrian rebel groups fight for control of territory.
A cease-fire between the government and rebels that was brokered by the United States and Russia is scheduled to begin at midnight Friday. But the agreement does not include the IS and its affiliates.
Assad’s regime said it would cease “combat operations” as part of the cease-fire plan. The High Negotiation Committee, which represents most rebel groups, said the government needed to end sieges and airstrikes on civilians for the cease-fire to be accepted.
Both warring parties will need to formally indicate by 5 a.m. ET on Friday whether they will comply with the cessation of hostilities. The United Nations said enforcing the cease-fire on the ground could be challenging.