Syrian army says it takes town near Hama

October 27, 2016 11:36 AM EDT

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's army regained the town of Soran, north of Hama, from rebels on Thursday, a Syrian military source and a war monitor said, part of a push back against insurgent gains in the area over recent weeks.

"Units from our armed forces in cooperation with the people's defense forces regained control over the municipality of Soran and the farms surrounding it," the source said.

Militia forces from both Syria and other countries in the region have fought alongside the Syrian army in its fight against rebels seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad, a war that is in its sixth year.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said the army's advance into the town was aided by a heavy bombardment since dawn on Thursday, including with rockets, mortars and barrel bombs dropped by helicopter.

Rebels, including hardline Islamist groups, had captured a number of villages in northern Hama province in the center of the populated west of the country, in recent weeks.

Recent fighting between Syria's army and its allies against an array of rebel groups has been heaviest around Aleppo in northwest Syria, in insurgent-held pockets near the capital Damascus in the southwest, and north of Hama.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Toby Chopra)



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