DAMASCUS, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army has dealt strong "successful" blows to the armed rebels in several areas across Syria, killing hundreds of them since last week, a pro-government daily said Sunday.
"While some pro-opposition Western countries were poising for the downfall of Syria between the 20th and 25th of the current month, relying on reports from the so-called opposition, the Syrian army had big blows to the armed rebels in several parts of Syria, all of which were successful and resulted in hundreds of deaths among the terrorists since last Thursday," al-Watan daily said.
The daily, a mouthpiece of the Syrian government, said its information were "documented" and obtained from several provinces. It said the army's "qualitative" operations destroyed the armed militia's hideouts, operation centers and infrastructure from the southern province of Daraa to the northwestern Idlib province, the eastern Deir al-Zour province and the outskirts of Aleppo province.
It said the army's wide-scale operations were coupled with raid campaigns in several districts of the capital Damascus, during which many of the rebels were detained.
The army advanced in the eastern al-Ghouta, Douma and Daraya suburbs of Damascus, the paper said, adding that Daraya still had some rebels' pockets and the army has imposed "suffocating" siege around the area.
Meanwhile, the paper said the road to the international airport of Damascus is "a hundred percent safe," adding that commercial flights by the Syrian airlines are ongoing.
In the northern province of Aleppo, the paper said, the army advanced forward into the eastern part of the Aleppo city and wrested back control over the Transportation Directorate. It said the troops were also working to secure the surroundings of the airport of Aleppo, the military airbase of Nairab and the Raqaa- Aleppo road.
After the armed groups' failed attempts to control any of the military targets they attacked and besieged, the paper said, they fired for the second time at the international airport of Aleppo with rockets from the nearby al-Sfaira town.
The paper added that the Syrian air forces have pinpointed the rocket launchers' locations and flattened them.
In the central province of Homs, the army regained full control over the Deir Balba town and attacked rebels in the countryside of the central province of Hama, according to al-Watan.
On the opposition side, activists reported Sunday airstrikes and ground shelling on several hotspots nationwide.
The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), an activist network, said four people were killed Sunday due to an airstrike on the Kafar Batna town near Damascus.
It said many were injured due to the shelling on al-Soura town near Daraa in southern Syria, adding that intense clashes between the armed rebels and the government troops were currently ongoing in Damascus' suburb of Harasta.
In the northern Raqqa province, the LCC said the rebels' Free Syrian Army took control over an oil pumping station in al-Hamra area.
In Khan Shaikhoun town in Idlib, many people were injured due to tank shelling on the area by the Syrian troops, according to the activists' report, which is impossible of being checked independently.
DAMASCUS, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Violence continued in Syria unabatedly on Saturday as the hopes for an impending political solution to the 22-month crisis dimmed with the adamant stance of the Syrian opposition in exile.
At least five people were killed Saturday morning when armed groups opened fire at a passenger bus on the Homs-Damascus road, pro-government Sham FM reported. Full story
MOSCOW, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Saving civilian lives was top priority for Moscow and Cairo at the current stage of the Syrian crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.
"We have an understanding that the absolute priority is the sooner fighting stops, the better for saving the lives of Syrian civilians," Lavrov told reporters following talks with Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr. Full story