Apr 26, 4:49 AM EDT

Report: Syrian troops break into IS-held Damascus district


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BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian state media is reporting that government forces have pushed into a Damascus neighborhood held by the Islamic State group from different directions and captured buildings on several street blocks and tunnels used by the extremists.

State news agency SANA said Thursday that dozens of IS fighters were killed in battles in the southern Damascus neighborhood of Hajar al-Aswad during which ground forces closely coordinated with the air force in bombarding the area.

The opposition's Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian authorities ordered rebel groups in the southern Damascus suburbs of Babila, Beit Sahm and Yalda to hand over fronts lines with IS in the area or face government bombardment.

The Observatory said the government wants to open new fronts against IS to expand pressure on the extremists.

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