The Syrian army has regained control of a town on the highway linking Hama and Aleppo cities in western Syria after months of battles with insurgents, state television and a monitoring group said on Friday.

The recapture of Morek, 30km (19 miles) north of Hama, is part of the military’s campaign to shore up territory in the west of the country stretching north from Damascus as U.S.-led forces bomb Islamist militants elsewhere in Syria.

The army “took full control of the town of Morek in the northern Hama countryside and killed a number of terrorists and mercenaries,” state television said in a news alert, citing a military source. […]