Syrian forces seized full control of a key rebel-held area in the central province of Homs on Monday following two months of fierce fighting, State media reported.
The military had “completely restored security and stability to Khalidiyeh neighbourhood,” the State-run news agency SANA reported.
It said the fall of Khalidiyeh “is a prelude” for taking back Homs province after it fell in the hands of “foreign militants.” However, Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the pro-Opposition watchdog Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said fighting continued in the southern parts of the area.
Homs, dubbed the flashpoint city of the Syrian Revolution in 2011, is Syria’s third largest city and it links the capital Damascus with the coastal areas.
The fall of Khalidiyeh comes two months after troops, with the help of Hezbollah fighters, took control of al-Kussair, another key rebel-held area in the same province which borders Lebanon.
According to UN estimates, the 28-month-old Syrian war has killed more than 100,000 people.