DAMASCUS, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- A suicide car bomb went off near an army checkpoint in Syria's northern province of Idlib on Thursday, causing only material damages, media reports said.
The car, rigged with 500 kgs of explosives, was detected by the troops before reaching destination and was detonated from a distance of 100 meters to the checkpoint at a town of Jabal al- Zawieh area in the countryside of Idlib, according to reports.
No one was injured or hit by the blast, the reports said.
Also in Idlib, the clashes that erupted in the surroundings of the Taftanas military airport were still incessant, reports said, noting that the army had the upper hand in the fighting.
A day earlier, armed rebels waged a big offensive at the airport from different directions, but the troops backed with air force kept the rebels from advancing further to the airport, which has emerged as a top priority for the rebels who are hoping of taking control over the crucial air base to paralyze the administration's air power in that northern slice of Syria.
Meanwhile, the Syrian troops unleashed a strong firepower to clear the surroundings of the capital Damascus from armed rebels. The pro-government al-Watan daily said Thursday that the focal point suburb of Daraya was expected to be declared secure within the hours to come.
The paper also said that the rebels failed to advance in their fight against the military airports of Koerc, Minj and Nairab in the northern province of Aleppo. It added that the Syrian troops were also working to flush the rebels out the vicinity of the international airport of Aleppo, which was shutdown a couple of days ago due to the armed rebels threats to target commercial flights.
The opposition activists, meanwhile, reported shelling and airstrikes in a number of Syrian areas on Thursday, adding that several people were injured, including children.
A day earlier, activists said that more than 70 people were killed by an airstrike on the Damascus' suburb of Mlaiha.
The conflict in Syria is nearing to enter its third year as the UN said that more than 60,000 have died in the 22-month conflict.