Syria army kills 14 militants in al-Zabadani

Syria army kills 14 militants in al-Zabadani
Thu May 1, 2014 14:32:56

Clashes between Syria’s army forces and foreign-backed militants killed at least 14 insurgents in a flare-up overnight along a strategic corridor between Damascus and the Lebanese border.

The fighting in al-Zabadani - a town near Damascus and the last militant stronghold in the area - is part of the larger battle for control of the mountainous Qalamoun region, stretching from the Syrian capital to the border with Lebanon.

Syrian army launched an operation in Qalamoun in mid-November, ousting foreign-backed militants from the area and cutting their supply routes from Lebanon.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers reports from opposition on the ground, the latest bout of clashes killed 14 militants.

The Qalamoun region was a key supply corridor from Lebanon to militant-held rural areas around Damascus. From there, terrorists have been firing mortars into the capital Damascus.

While mortar attacks have subsided since the fall of two militant strongholds in Qalamoun, the insurgents are still able to carry out terrorist attacks on civilians and armed forces near the capital.

Syrian state news agency SANA said two teachers were wounded when mortar shells exploded near a school in the central Damascus district of Qanawat on Thursday.

Earlier this week, a massive double car bombing in the central city of Homs and a mortar strike in Damascus killed at least 54 people.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

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

Reports say that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.


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