Syria troops recapture strategic hill in Qalamoun

Syria troops recapture strategic hill in Qalamoun
Wed Mar 5, 2014 08:12:36

The Syrian army has intensified its operations against foreign-backed militant groups, retaking a strategic hill in Qalamoun region.

Syrian soldiers launched an offensive against the militants in the region on Tuesday and succeeded in taking control of the area near the town of Yabroud, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of the capital Damascus.

Qalamoun is an important supply route for the militants to receive weapons from their foreign supporters and is also a main base for the armed groups in their attacks on capital, Damascus.

The advance came a day after the troops took control of the village of al-Sahel near Yabroud and killed a number of terrorists in the fighting.

Earlier, the army had captured two other strategic hills near the city.

Yabroud is the last major town held by militants in the mountainous Qalamoun region along the border with neighboring Lebanon. It has been under the control of foreign-sponsored armed groups since 2011.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over two years.


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