Syria army retakes key town, closes in on Damascus suburbs

Syria army retakes key town, closes in on Damascus suburbs
Fri Oct 25, 2013 07:59:51

Syrian army troops have has retaken the control of a key town southeast of the capital, Damascus, a military source says.

A military source told AFP on Thursday that troops had recaptured Hteitit al-Turkman, describing it as an “important center for the terrorists.”

The operation was part of a larger effort to close in on eastern Ghouta, a ring of suburbs besieged by government troops for months, which were targeted in the alleged August chemical attack.

Syrian authorities were meanwhile working to restore power after militants attacked a gas pipeline Wednesday, causing blackouts across the country and setting off a huge fire near the airport, where a key power plant is located.

Electricity Minister Imad Khamis said Thursday that the fire had been extinguished and that power was being “gradually” restored to some provinces, according to the official SANA news agency.

Elsewhere in Syria, Kurdish fighters battled with foreign-backed militants for several hours as they advanced on a border crossing with Iraq held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, an Al-Qaeda affiliate that operates in both countries.

And in the central city of Homs, a car bomb killed at least one person and wounded 43, state television reported.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. More than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the foreign-backed turmoil, according to the United Nations.

Reports say Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside the Arab state.


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