The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) said it had made a significant gain in al-Hajar al-Aswad on Thursday by splitting a pocket of so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters from a key strategic point just a few kilometres south of Damascus, according to Syrian State News Agency SANA. The army units reportedly attacked the fortified dens in al-Hajar al-Aswad from two directions accompanied... Еще by precise artillery and missile strikes. Footage shows soldiers advancing on enemy positions amid the rubble and destruction as buildings burn in the background. An Islamic State flag hangs from the wall of one empty, bombed-out building. They retreated after suffering heavy casualties and the destruction of their ammunition stores, according to SANA.