DAMASCUS, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army has continued tracking down armed insurgent groups in some eastern hotspots of the capital Damascus, in which it used the air force to hammer their hideouts, the pro-government al-Watan daily reported Sunday.
The army operation took place at hotspots of the eastern al- Ghouta area, the report said, adding that intense clashes have taken place at al-Shaifoniah and Otaya suburbs after the armed men tried to attack a military barrack there.
The clashes, the paper said, led to the damaging of an electricity high-tension tower and caused a blackout in most areas in eastern Ghouta.
Al-Watan also said the army cleansed the western Damascus' suburb of Qudsiah from armed insurgency.
Meanwhile, in central Homs province, the paper said the Syrian troops had killed about 165 armed men at al-Khalidieh and some old districts, adding that another 40 were killed at al-Rastan, just outside Homs.
In another suburb of Homs, al-Watan said the army has unleashed a huge firepower to purge al-Qusair town of armed insurgency, while the activists Local Coordination Committees (LCC) reported heavy airstrikes at al-Jousieh area in al-Qusair, which has largely spiraled out of the government's control over the past months.
The LCC also reported intense fighting between the armed rebels and government troops at al-Midan district of northern Aleppo province, where the al-Watan daily boasted the army's advancement and claimed that the armed rebels had retreated along with other extremists groups linked to the al-Qaida terror network from some districts in that crucial city.