Activists: IS Seizes New Ground in Eastern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) -

Activists and a media outlet associated with terrorists say the Islamic State group has seized control of a government-controlled neighborhood in Deir al-Zour in eastern Syria, expanding its presence in the province.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Wednesday that the group’s terrorists clashed heavily overnight with government troops and allied forces, advancing in the city’s industrial district. The Observatory says five air strikes hit the neighborhood, but there was no immediate word of casualties or who was behind the strikes.

The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said IS has expelled government troops from the district. The terror group now edges closer to a much-coveted military air base.

IS lost control to the government of the city of Palmyra, but has also repelled attacks from other rebel groups in the north.