Smoke rises at the positions of the Islamic State militants after an air strike by the coalition forces near the stadium in Raqqa, Syria, October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro
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The Syrian army and allied fighters Wednesday drove Daesh (ISIS) from their last positions in the central province of Hama after heavy fighting, an activist group said, underlining the regime's increasing part in defeating the militants in Syria.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Daesh was no longer present anywhere in the province for the first time in three years.The army, backed by ally Russia, launched a campaign against Daesh in Hama in early September, capturing some 50 villages and the strategic town of Uqayribat, the Observatory said.More than 400 Daesh fighters and nearly 190 Syrian soldiers and allied militiamen had been killed in the fighting, the activist group stated.The Hama update came alongside a report by the activist group that said a Russian airstrike killed 38 civilians, nine of them children, as they tried to cross the Euphrates River to escape fighting between regime forces and Daesh in eastern Deir al-Zor province.
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