National News

Syrian troops advance in contested Damascus suburb

By The Associated Press

BEIRUT - Syrian government troops seized control of most of a contested suburb southeast of the capital of Damascus on Thursday, and were trying to crush remaining resistance on the town's northern outskirts, activists and state media said.

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have waged a ferocious offensive for months to try to dislodge rebels from Mleiha, which is located some 10 kilometres (6 miles) from downtown Damascus.

The campaign has included relentless airstrikes and artillery barrages to try to dislodge rebels from the town. Both sides are eager to control Mleiha because of its strategic location near the highway to the capital's airport, as well the opposition stronghold of eastern Ghouta.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government troops backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militant Hezbollah group took over the centre of Mleiha on Thursday. It said fighting was still raging in surrounding areas outside the town.

The Syrian state news agency said the military killed a "large number" of terrorists in Mleiha, and is pursuing other gunmen on the town's northern periphery. The government refers to those fighting to topple Assad as terrorists.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

RCMP requests for subscriber data not tracked
 
Plane crashes at Kansas airport, killing 4
 
Election 2014: Barriere councillor candidate Shane Quiding
Election 2014: Barriere mayoral candidate Virginia Smith
 
Prince Rupert council candidates face the public at first forum
 
Flu season may be early this year
Teacher strike cheques in the mail
 
Rotary connector trail extension enhances Rails to Trails project
 
Difficult birth for LNG cash cow

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.