BEIRUT: The Islamic State group has launched a counteroffensive in Syria's northern province of Raqqa, retaking wide areas the militants recently lost to government troops.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday that the government forces have lost all territories they gained in Raqqa province since launching their offensive in early June.
The IS-linked Aamaq news agency posted a video showing the extremists in control of Thawra oil field as warplanes strike nearby.
Syrian journalist Eyad al-Hosain, embedded with the army, wrote on his Facebook page that even if special forces "retreat for hours they will come back."
The provincial capital of Raqqa that carries the same name is the de facto capital for IS.