Several foreign-backed militants have been killed in a mop-up operation by the Syrian army in the western city of Homs.
Syrian forces pushed back an armed group near Homs on Saturday as they were trying to gain control of a main highway leading to the flashpoint city.
A number of militants were injured in the clashes.
Syrian troops also confiscated ammunitions and bomb-making materials from a makeshift facility used by the militants in the city.
The Syrian government is reportedly holding talks with foreign-backed armed groups over their withdrawal from a number of militant-controlled neighborhoods surrounding Homs.
“Talks to rid the city of arms and of armed men… are ongoing and we are near the end,” said Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi on Saturday.
Only a handful of neighborhoods around the Old City of Homs remain in the hands of Takfiris following a series of army operations that started in February 2012 to liberate the area.
The talks with militants come as part of efforts to facilitate access to the people trapped in conflict zones.
Earlier on Saturday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on governmental aid bodies to increase their cooperation with local and international aid organizations in providing humanitarian relief to people.
The Syrian president made the statements after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said foreign aid was not reaching millions of Syrians despite a February resolution by the UN Security Council calling for greater access.
Takfiri militants operating in Syria are reportedly hindering the process of aid provision inside the country.