Syrian army regains control of Rankus: Report
The Syrian army forces have regained control of the western city of Rankus in the country’s strategic Qalamoun region from foreign-backed militants, state media reports say.
Citing a military source, Syrian state news agency SANA reported the liberation of the western city in one of the last militant-held regions in the country on Wednesday.
“Units of the Syrian army have now accomplished their operation in the Rankus area and restored security and stability after eliminating a large number of terrorists,” the report added.
According to local Arab media outlets, Syrian army forces have killed nearly 30 militants in the offensive in the western city.
Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah helped the Syrian soldiers in their fight against the militants.
Foreign-backed opposition groups fighting the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad have also confirmed the town’s liberation.
Rankus is situated about 45 kilometers (28 miles) to the north of the capital, Damascus.
The Qalamoun region is of strategic importance as it lies along the border with neighboring Lebanon. The main highway between Damascus and the city of Homs also runs through the region.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the area of Rankus was under heavy shelling and air raids since April 7.
Syria has been witnessing violence since March 2011. Reports indicate that Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.