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Syrian army sweeps across IS-held territory: state media

DAMASCUS: Syrian government forces have swept across territory south of Islamic State group stronghold Raqa, capturing a string of villages and oilfields from the militants, state media said on Monday. The landscape south of Raqa city strategically borders several provinces: Aleppo to the west, Homs to the south and Deir Ezzor -- much of which is still held by IS- to the east. On Monday, state news agency SANA said government loyalists had scored significant gains against IS in the area. "Over the past two days,…