Syrian army advances toward Dumayr
The Syrian army has moved further to retake control of the city of al-Dumayr, near the capital, Damascus, from the foreign-backed militants.
The strategic city is located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the Syrian capital and gives access to the international road linking Damascus to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
The Saturday advance by the Syrian forces has raised hopes for breaking the siege on Dumayr.
Syrian forces, backed by Lebanon’s Hezbollah fighters, also made gains in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta.
Over the past months, the Syrian army has made major gains in its battle against Takfiri groups across the country.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein has said that more than 200,000 people have died in the conflict that has plagued Syria since March 2011.
Western powers and some of their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are reportedly supporting the militants operating against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.