Strategic area near Damascus recaptured by Syrian army

Strategic area near Damascus recaptured by Syrian army
Wed Oct 16, 2013 20:45:53

Syrian army soldiers have recaptured a strategic town in south of capital Damascus from militants, the state TV has reported.

State television said on Wednesday the army had "restored safety and stability to the Bweida area of Damascus province after it defeated the terrorists and destroyed their criminal equipment."

There was also fighting on Wednesday closer to the Sayyida Zeinab shrine, and in the Hojeira district of south Damascus.

According to Al Alam reporter, one of the field commanders of the al-Qaeda’s offshoot in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS), was killed in fighting with the Syrian army.

Palestinian ISIS commander Abu Mohammad al-Felestini was one of the most important figures leading al-Qaeda’s militants near Damascus.

Syrian army has been fighting with scores of militant and terrorist groups gathered in the country with millions of dollars of foreign support for more than two and a half years.

The conflict in Syria started at March 2011 as pro-reform protests that soon turned to a massive proxy war funded by regional countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia and supported by US and its Western allies.

A recent British defense study shows that about 100,000 foreign-backed militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.

The study conducted by defense consultancy IHS Jane's estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front and the rest fight for different militant groups.

The analysis also showed that a large number of extremists from foreign countries are also active in Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million others displaced due to the violence.

On October 7, the UN said that over four million other Syrians will be forced out of their homes in 2014 by the escalating conflict in the country.

Two million Syrians are expected to take refuge outside the country while another 2.25 million are predicted to be internally displaced in the next year.


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