Syrian troops kill 24 al-Qaida militants near Damascus
At least 24 militants of the al- Qaida-linked Nusra Front were killed in an ambush by the Syrian troops on Friday, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV reported.
The Syrian troops had thwarted a wide-scale offensive by the al- Nusra militants in the towns of Jubbeh and Esal al-Wared in the al- Qalamoun region in the northern countryside of the capital Damascus, said the TV, adding that one of the killed militants was a militant commander.
Separately, the Syrian war jets on Friday carried out airstrikes against the positions of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the country's eastern province of Deir al-Zour, said the TV, spelling no further details.
The Syrian air force also struck the al-Nusra Front positions in the country's southern province of Qunaitera on the borders with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Meanwhile, the state news agency SANA said the Syrian troops eliminated "large numbers" of the militant groups in the northwestern province of Aleppo and the central Hama province.
On Tuesday, the U.S. military and its Arab allies debuted airstrikes against IS positions in Syria's northern province of al- Raqqa and the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, the Pentagon said.
Syria responded by announcing that it was informed ahead of the attacks, adding that the administration of President Bashar al- Assad stood by any international effort to eradicate the " terrorist groups" from the country.