Syrian government forces and their allies have recaptured territory from Islamic State in countryside southeast of its stronghold Raqqa after air strikes in the area, a pro-Damascus military media unit and war monitors reported.

The advances toward the provincial boundary between Raqqa and Deir al-Zor took place late on Saturday, the media unit, run by Damascus ally Lebanese Hezbollah, and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The army seized an oil field in the Sabkha area as part of the advance.

It was a rare advance for Damascus’s forces in that area, which is close to territory controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-dominated alliance separately fighting Islamic State. It also brings government forces closer to Deir al-Zor province, another Islamic State stronghold.

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