Syrian government troops seized control of Yabroud, a rebel-held town near the capital Damascus, a source from the Syrian military said on Sunday.
The source told Syria state news agency SANA that “troops fully control Yabroud town in the Damascus suburbs and are currently removing and dismantling car bombs and roadside explosives planted by terrorists.” The Syrian government refers to all rebels fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad as terrorists.
The area of Qalamoun near the Lebanese border, where Yabroud is located, has a major highway linking Damascus to the central city of Homs.
Al-Assad’s troops are seeking to cut off rebels’ supply routes between Yabroud and the Arsal area in eastern Lebanon. Syria’s crisis started with peaceful anti-government demonstrations in mid-March in 2011 which quickly descended into civil war after al-Assad’s regime attempted to quash the protests.
More than 9 million Syrians have been displaced since the conflict started, the UN refugee agency said Friday.