Syrian troops capture a key town from rebels near Lebanon
A Lebanese army soldier patrols a street with an armoured vehicle in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on October 29, 2013. [IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/Getty Images]
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The Syrian army has regained full control of the Qara town in the strategic al-Qalamoun area in the countryside of the capital Damascus.
The strategic town, seized on Tuesday, is nearly 50 kilometers north of Damascus.
Qalamoun region is used by foreign-backed militants to cross into Syria from Lebanon.
The army is now pushing to capture the whole Qalamoun area and has already liberated a number of towns there.
In recent weeks, the Syrian army has made major advances in its fight against the armed groups.
On Monday, the government troops stormed the militants’ hideouts and killed scores of them in Damascus countryside.
The army units battled foreign-sponsored militants in Hasakah countryside, killing and injuring scores of them.
Moreover, the Syrian soldiers killed a large number of militants near Aleppo Central Prison.
On November 16, the army kept up its operations against militant positions in Harasta, the northeastern suburb of Damascus. The Syrian troops also recaptured positions in the town of Tel Hasel on the outskirts of the city of Aleppo.
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 Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.
The UN recently warned against the humanitarian situation in Syria, saying that over nine million people are in need of urgent aid due to the crisis in the Middle Eastern country.