Syrian government forces lost control of Maheen, a town west of the country, to Islamic State fighters on November 1.

As reported by Reuters, the jihadists' advance came even as Russian warplanes and Syrian forces supported by them stepped up assaults against insurgents in west and northwest Syria, and the United States separately sought to increase pressure on Islamic State.

The fighting tempered any expectation of progress towards a political solution to the four-year civil war, with war...

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