Syrian army gains more ground near Damascus

Photo: Syrian army gains more ground near Damascus / Arab World

The Syrian army has taken more ground from foreign-backed militants in the Damascus countryside amid ongoing heavy clashes between the two sides across the country, Press TV reported.

Syrian army units on Saturday destroyed terrorist hideouts in the northern entrance of the town of al-Mleiha, in Eastern al-Ghouta.

They reportedly killed a number of terrorists and discovered a vast net of tunnels the terrorists had been using to move around and transport weapons and ammunition.

Al-Mleiha was the scene of the latest fierce fighting between the two sides, which ended with the advance of the Syrian army troops.

On April 4, Syrian army tanks pounded militant positions in al-Mleiha, while Syrian warplanes carried out several air raids on the town.

The attack came a day after army bombing killed 22 militants in al-Mleiha.

The town is strategically significant as it is located near the army-held city of Jaramana, which comes under frequent fire by militant forces.

On Saturday, the Syrian army was engaged in heavy fighting against militants around a military intelligence base in the northeastern city of Aleppo.

Officials reported casualties on both sides and said civilians had fled the area.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army has also launched successful offensives against militants in the southwestern city of Dara'a and the Homs countryside, in the west.

Syria has been experiencing unrelenting militancy since March 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - are said to be supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Reports say that more than 150,000 people have so far been killed and millions of others displaced because of the ongoing violence.

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