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"Islamic State" regains territory from Syrian rebels

A monitoring group says the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) has taken back a key stronghold from a group of rebels. The extremist group's victory comes just days after losing the same territory.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that IS had retaken al-Rai, not far from the Turkish border, just days after having lost its control of the area to a group of rebel fighters.

The terrorist organization regained the the territory after battling with the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, an organization also opposed to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Al-Rai, which serves as a supply route to both Turkey and Aleppo, was taken from IS by

the same rebel fighters on Thursday.

It's just one instance of the tit-for-tat fighting between IS and both rebel and government fighters.

End in sight?

In March, Assad's forces

recaptured the historic city of Palmyra

, which had been occupied by IS since August 2015, in what was seen as a symbolic blow to the terror group.

Shortly thereafter, government forces

recaptured nearby al-Qaraytain

, another IS-held town important for its oil and gas supply.

Gains on all sides come as the international community prepares for further talks to end the conflict. The latest round of peace talks will begin Wednesday, according to UN Syria envoy, Staffan di Mistura.

blc/tj (AP, Reuters)

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