Syrian army retakes strategic Christian town near Damascus

Syrian army retakes strategic Christian town near Damascus
Thu Nov 28, 2013 17:09:38

Syrian army has recaptured the strategic town of Deir Attiyeh less than a week after al-Qaeda-linked militants took control over the area in north of Damascus.

Army’s advancement on Deir Attiyeh, located on the Damascus-Homs highway, comes two weeks into a major army operation in the Qalamoun region which is important for its closeness to the capital.

"Our heroic army has taken total control of the town of Deir Attiyeh in Damascus province after it crushed the terrorists' last enclaves there," said state television on Thursday, citing a military source.

A high-ranking security official in Damascus confirmed the report to AFP, adding that "operations to expel the terrorists from nearby areas are ongoing".

On Friday last week, hundreds of extremist militants from the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front, as well as other militant groups, took control of Deir Attiyeh, according to a London-based monitoring group.

The army has been increasing its operations to safeguard the capital and its surrounding areas as militants stepped up their attacks in different areas near Damascus ahead of key talks arranged between Syrian government and the Western-backed opposition.

After months of wavering stances and several rejection sand pre-conditions, the so-called Syrian National Coalition said it will take part in the talks dubbed the Geneva 2.

However group’s main armed force, the Free Syrian Army, rejected the talks and announced that time was not appealing to them to stop the deadly war and go for talks.

Al-Qaeda-linked groups fighting for the Syrian opposition have also rejected taking part in talks as an act of treason.

The war in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.


string(881) "[{"id":"1537964","sort":"3128097","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/11/25/alalam_635209707643728623_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Rebels' offensive on Syrian army deadlocked in Ghouta"} ,{"id":"1538109","sort":"3128098","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/11/25/alalam_635209970122961779_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Deadly clashes erupt between Libyan army, fighters"} ,{"id":"1538286","sort":"3128099","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/11/26/alalam_635210614491908795_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria army prepared to retake Christian town of Deir Attiyeh"} ,{"id":"1538292","sort":"3128100","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/11/26/alalam_635210587565239783_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria army uproots terrorists in Damascus suburbs"} ,{"id":"1538680","sort":"3128101","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/11/27/alalam_635211487430021855_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syria army confiscates Israeli-made weapons"} ]"