Syria

Head of Syria’s air defenses killed by foreign-backed militants

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The head of Syria’s air defenses has been killed in an attack by foreign-backed Takfiri militants fighting against the Syrian government.

Lieutenant General Hussein Ishaq, according to reports on Sunday, died from injuries in the attack on an airbase near the town of Mleiha.

The Syrian government has not yet commented on the news.

Meanwhile, government forces are in full control of Damascus, but militants still hold a few towns and villages on the outskirts of the city.

Syrian troops have in recent months gained the upper hand in battles against militants.

On May 12, a final group of foreign-backed Takfiris left the western city of Homs as part of a deal reached between Damascus and the militants on May 4.

The safe exit of militants from Homs was part of the agreement which was brokered by Iran, Russia and the United Nations.

The deal also brought almost all major districts of the city under the control of government forces. The Syrian government’s talks with the militants came as part of efforts to facilitate access to the people trapped in conflict zones.

The agreement required the militants to allow aid into two northwestern towns of Kafr Nabl and al-Zahraa. The militants also agreed to release dozens of soldiers and civilians held hostage.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the foreign-backed militants.

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