DAMASCUS, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government forces have captured 20 percent of the residential part of the city of Sukhneh, the last Islamic State (IS) stronghold in the central province of Homs, a monitor group reported on Wednesday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian forces are still advancing in the city, just five days after the city got exposed to the fire of the Syrian army.
It added that explosions are being heard in the city as a result of the shelling and military operations inside and around the city.
The progress is part of a wide-scale military offensive to drive out IS from the Syrian Desert.
Capturing Sukhneh would enable the Syrian army to break the IS siege to the eastern province of Deir al-Zour near Iraq, as Sukhneh is located on the road between the ancient city of Palmyra and Deir al-Zour.
The Russian warplanes have been supporting the ground Syrian troops and allied fighters in their push to clear the desert of IS militants.