DAMASCUS, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Syrian troops regained control of two areas near the international airport of the capital Damascus, the state-TV said.
"The army has restored security to Haran al-Awamid and Kafreen, " the state-TV said, adding that the operation has also resulted in destruction all of the rebels' command centers.
The army had been poised to enter the Haran al-Awamid since last week in order to secure the road to the airport.
The news came as the military showdown continued in the southern and eastern outskirts of Damascus between the army and the armed rebels.
Wednesday's fighting was deemed as the most ferocious rattling the surroundings of the capital in months. The drumbeat of shells reverberated across the city while activists' videos showed government troops' shells dotting the strongholds of rebels in Jobar and Zamalka among others.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five civilians were killed by mortar shells in Jobar, adding that at least three soldiers were killed when their checkpoints were attacked.
The Observatory also posted a video footage online showing rebels beating three women with sticks and whips in Jobar for cooperating with the Syrian authorities.
In the northern province of Aleppo, meanwhile, five people of one family, including two children, were killed Wednesday by bombardment on Qdeiran village of al-Bab in Aleppo's countryside.
CAIRO, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, his Iranian and Turkish counterparts, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Abdullah Gul, held a closed meeting Wednesday on the Syrian crisis, Egyptian presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters.
Ali noted that Saudi Arabia's Deputy Prime Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz did not attend the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of an Islamic summit in Cairo, as he went back to Saudi Arabia for private reasons.Full story
DAMASCUS, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- At least 35 people were killed and another 30 injured Wednesday when twin suicide car bombs went off near a military security branch in Syria's central Homs province, a pro-government online news website said, as the country's state media denies reports about deteriorating situation in Damascus.
The twin blasts were carried out by suicide bombers that detonated their explosive-packed cars near the security branch in Palmyra countryside of Homs, Ajel News website said, adding that more than 30 people were also injured.Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Tuesday warned that the ongoing conflict in Syria, which will soon enter its third year, has disrupted health services and led to worsening health and humanitarian situation in the Middle East country.
"The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that the health situation in Syria has worsened over the last six months, with heavy fighting in the rural area around Damascus," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky at a daily news briefing held here.Full story