Syria army retakes areas near occupied Golan Heights

Syria army retakes areas near occupied Golan Heights
Sun Feb 23, 2014 09:59:29

Syrian army forces have captured two southwestern areas on the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the latest of the Syrian army’s victories against foreign-backed militants.

A Syrian military official said on Saturday that the army regained control of Rasm al-Hour and Rasm al-Sad areas, south of the town of Quneitra.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which supports the foreign-backed opposition, confirmed that the government forces were on the offensive in the region.

It said that the Syrian air force was also taking part in the operation.

The Syrian army has been reinforcing its positions in Quneitra as part of efforts to clear the area of foreign-backed militants.

On Tuesday, Syrian troops regained full control of the village of Sheikh Najjar and the strategic Ghali Hill near the northwestern city of Aleppo.

A large number of militants, including some foreign nationals, were killed in the offensive, and a large quantity of weapons, including many heavy machineguns, rocket launchers and explosive devices were seized.

This came shortly after Syrian army units launched a counter-offensive against foreign-backed militants operating in the central Hama Province, taking full control of the Alawite village of Maan.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 130,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the unrest.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- support the militants operating inside Syria.

NTJ/HH

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