"The Islamic State (ISIL) suffered a major setback, Saturday, when the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured their last stronghold in the Aleppo Governorate.
For more than three years, the Islamic State has occupied the town of Maskanah, which is located near the provincial border of the Al-Raqqa Governorate.
Due to its location along the Aleppo-Raqqa Highway and its proximity to the large city of Tabaqa, Maskanah was an invaluable town to the Islamic State forces.
With its loss on Saturday, the Islamic State now finds themselves on the verge of being completely expelled from northern Syria, pending Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) upcoming Raqqa City offensive.
Once Raqqa City is lost, the Islamic State will no longer have a presence in northern Syria." AMN
TTG and I have bemoaned the narrowness of the Ihtriyia/Khannasar track to Aleppo. This seems to us to have been a commander's nightmare. The question would be "how do I keep this damned road open with Jihadi Idlib Province on the west and IS held parts of Aleppo Province to the east. The road is perpetually threatened. (Hang in there. Look at a map.)
SAA, led by the Tiger forces, has been advancing to the SE in east Aleppo Province. Yesterday they captured Maskanah and presumably will continue to advance until they meet the SDF near Tabqah.
In the process of this advance they are progressively "uncovering" the Ithriya/Khanassar/Aleppo Road to the west. This is a great benefit to the Syrian Government. pl