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Syrian army takes strategic hills, preparing Yabroud liberation

Syrian army takes strategic hills, preparing Yabroud liberationThe Syrian army is preparing to assault a key militant bastion near Damascus, a pro-government newspaper says.
“The Syrian army is preparing to launch a new phase” on the town of Yabroud near the Lebanon border in its offensive in the Qalamoun mountains, Al-Watan reported on Thursday.
The newspaper said Syrian troops have seized control of two strategic hills near Yabroud, which has been the target of heavy air raids and tank fire since early February.
“Every day there is progress” by the army, it said, adding that militants had been using the two hills as supply routes.
Syrian forces backed by fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah launched an offensive in the Qalamoun area in November. They have expelled militants from several strategic towns, but Yabroud – the largest in the region – has so far remained an insurgent stronghold.
Pro-opposition media activists said eight militants were killed by shelling and clashes in the Qalamoun region.

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