TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Assad's forces take suburb of capital

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
 

BEIRUT — Syrian troops captured a contested suburb of Damascus on Wednesday as the government forged ahead with a punishing military offensive that already has taken four other opposition strongholds south of the capital, state media said.

For more than a year, much of the belt of neighborhoods and towns just south of Damascus has been a rebel bastion and a key arms conduit for the opposition. But government forces — bolstered by fighters from Lebanon's Shiite militant Hezbollah group and Shiite militants from Iraq — have made significant headway there in recent weeks as President Bashar Assad pushes to shore up his hold on the capital and its doorstep.

The recent government advances could give Assad's government a stronger position in proposed peace talks that the United States and Russia have been trying to convene since May.

The town of Hejeira on Wednesday became the latest rebel-held suburb to fall into government hands. State news agency SANA said the army seized control of the town, but was still battling rebels on the outskirts.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group confirmed that government forces were in control of most of Hejeira, but said there were still small pockets of resistance.

The opposition's hold on Hejeira became untenable after the military captured the adjacent town of Sabina in recent days.

While the government has driven the rebels from several of their footholds around the capital, the opposition is still within striking distance of the center of Damascus, and fires barrages of mortar rounds into the city daily.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Miss Uganda hopefuls get dirty in agriculture phase of contest
  2. As oil prices fall, fear rises in Venezuela
  3. Sweden calls off search for mystery submarine
  4. Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops
  5. China to test lunar orbiter
  6. Deadly crash into train station prompts crackdown in Jerusalem
  7. Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa
  8. News Alert
  9. U.S. airstrikes beat back Islamic State’s push for Mosul dam
  10. Gunman in Ottawa attack had been waiting for passport to go to Syria
  11. Russia, Ukraine leaders signal progress in talks on peace, gas
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.