Syria

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Close to Taking Control of Strategic City in Daraa

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The Syrian army continued its major advances in Daraa province in the Southern parts of the country and is close to regaining control of a strategic city in there.
Tens of foreign-backed terrorists have been killed and dozens more injured in heavy clashes over control of the strategic city of Al-Sheikh Maskin in the area.

The Syrian army, meantime, took control of Al-Sheikh Maskin-Nawa and Al-Sheikh Maskin-Sanamin highways.

Also in the past 24 hours, informed sources said gaps have widened among the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) commanders in Al-Qalamoun region of the Damascus countryside.

Many ISIL militants have now defected from the terrorist group to form their own groups.

Also the Syrian army stormed the hideouts of Takfiri militants in the nearby areas of Damascus, killing and injuring a large number of them.

The army soldiers made gains in their push against the armed groups in Eastern Ghouta, and killed at least 50 rebels.

Meantime, the militants suffered major losses in the strategic city of Douma, as the army made major advances in al-Ryhan farms.

Also, the Syrian Army inflicted heavy losses on the Takfiri insurgents in Jobar, and killed scores of them in the area of al-Manasheir.

Meantime, a Reuters reports said that at a desert base, Persian Gulf state Qatar is covertly training Syrian rebels with the US help to fight President Bashar al-Assad.

The camp, South of the capital between Saudi Arabia’s border and Al Udeid, the largest US air base in the Middle East, is being used to train the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other rebels, the sources said, it reported.

Reuters could not independently identify the participants in the program or witness activity inside the base, which lies in a military zone guarded by Qatari special forces and marked on signposts as a restricted area.

But Syrian rebel sources said training in Qatar has included rebels affiliated to the so-called “Free Syrian Army” from Northern Syria.

The sources said the effort had been running for nearly a year, although it was too small to have a significant impact on the battlefield.

“The US wanted to help the rebels oust Assad but didn’t want to be open about their support, so to have rebels trained in Qatar is a good idea, the problem is the scale is too small,” said a western source in Doha.

The CIA declined to comment, as did Qatar’s foreign ministry and an FSA spokesman in Turkey.

Meantime, the World Bulletin reported that the UK-based Refugee Council has criticized the British government over Syrian refugees, urging the country to take in more people fleeing the conflict in Syria.

Critics said the UK figure was in stark contrast to 11,800 Syrians arrived in Germany seeking asylum in the first half of 2014, it added.

“Since the crisis in Syria began we have granted asylum or other forms of leave to more than 3,000 Syrian nationals and their dependents,” a home office spokesperson said.

He said the UK had accepted only 50 refugees in the greatest need in the first half of the year, including people requiring urgent medical treatment and survivors of torture and violence, under its Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.

The figure indicates the country lags behind other EU nations including Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The conflict in Syria started in March 2011, when sporadic pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle-East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

As the foreign-backed insurgency in Syria continues without an end in sight, the US government has boosted its political and military support to Takfiri extremists.

Washington has remained indifferent to warnings by Russia and other world powers about the consequences of arming militant groups.

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