The Syrian army has taken full control of the southwestern town of Yabroud, the last major stronghold of foreign-backed militants near the Lebanese border.
Syrian forces carried out mop-up operations pushing back the militants from the strategic town in the mountainous region of Qalamoun.
In their latest drive to clear more areas of militants, the Syrian troops managed to enter the eastern districts of Yabroud on Saturday.
“Our brave armed forces have full control over Yabroud… and are combing through the town and removing explosive devices placed by terrorists,” state television said on Sunday, citing a military source.
The town is located north of the capital, Damascus.
The takeover of Yabroud will cut supply lines of the foreign-sponsored militants. The advance is considered a major gain for the Syrian army, which has been engaged in a fierce battle against foreign-backed militants for three years.
On March 12, Syrian forces backed by fighters from the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah took full control of farmland on the northern edge of Yabroud.
The new gains for the Syrian army come days after forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad regained control of the town of al-Zareh following days of fierce clashes with militants in the central province of Homs.
On Saturday, head of Syria’s foreign-backed opposition, Ahmed Jarba, appealed to foreign supporters to provide the militants with more weaponry.
He said the militants need the weapons to fight both the Syrian army and al-Qaeda-linked groups particularly the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).