Syria's state media and an opposition monitoring group say government forces have captured several villages from Islamic State extremists in the northern province of Aleppo.

The SANA news agency says government troops on Friday took three villages near the town of Khanaser, which they recaptured from the IS group the previous day.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that two villages were taken by the government troops, saying they are working to open the only road linking the city of Aleppo with central and western Syria.

The fighting comes ahead of a cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia, which is to go into effect at midnight. IS is not included in the cease-fire.

IS attacked the Khanaser area Monday, capturing the town only to lose it Thursday.