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 ...

Province looks at moving Balfour ferry terminal
 
Tentative deal reached
 
Record number of bikes for Toy Run
Henrik, Daniel Sedin talk 2014 season, new teammates, and their weekend in Agassiz
 
Snowboarder admits guilt, agrees to pay for damaged church sign
 
Coldstream coffee house opens Saturday
Hope Centre opens in Sooke
 
B.C. teachers ponder tentative deal ahead of vote
 
Parksville couples appear on reality show

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

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

Sep 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.