Syrian troops, Kurdish forces make gains in country's north

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Syrian government forces and a predominantly Kurdish coalition of fighters have advanced and captured more areas from an array of insurgent groups in the country's north.

Syria's state news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday that government forces took the villages of Ahras and Misqan in the northern province of Aleppo.

Separately, members of the Syria Democratic Forces, a coalition of Arab and Kurdish groups, captured the major town of Tel Rifaat, one of the largest strongholds of militants in Aleppo province. After Tel Rifaat, SDF fighters also took the nearby village of Kfar Naseh just south of the town.

Syrian government forces backed by Russian warplanes have pressed a major offensive north of Aleppo since the start of February.