Syrian troops retake rebel-held town near Damascus
The Syrian army Thursday retook a mainly Christian town near the capital Damascus, a week after Islamist rebels seized it, state media and activists said.
The army regained full control of Deir Attiyeh in the Damascus countryside "after eliminating the last dens of terrorists there," the state-run news agency SANA reported.
The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the seizure, dpa reported.
Deir Attiyeh, with a population of about 25,000 people, is situated on a strategic route linking Damascus to Homs in central Syria.
The area was captured by al-Qaeda-linked groups of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Al-Nusra Front last week, reported the Britain-based Observatory.
Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have claimed advances into rebel-held areas near Damascus in recent months.
Further north, at least six people were killed and more than 35 wounded when a surface-to-surface missile fell overnight in the city of al-Raqqa, according to the Observatory.
The Syrian Coordination Committees, a group of activists reporting violence on the ground, said a Scud missile had landed in a market in the jihadist-controlled city, leaving at least 40 people dead and 220 injured.
There was no official comment.
Syria's crisis started in March 2011 with pro-democracy protests, which soon developed into a devastating war after al-Assad's regime attempted to quell the demonstrations.
The United Nations estimate that more than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict.