DAMASCUS, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army on Saturday totally besieged the central strategic city of al-Qussair and is expected to recapture it within hours, according to local media.
The al-Qussair city, near the borders with Lebanon, is so close to be reseized by the Syrian army after most of its countryside has become under the army's control, al-Khabar news website said.
The battle for al-Qussair is crucial as the victory of the army in that area would deprive the rebels of their supply line from neighboring Lebanon.
Meanwhile, a Syrian military source was quoted by the state-run SANA news agency as saying that the troops wrested control over al- Abbada and Ghraika in the Damascus' suburb of al-Ghouta on Saturday and killed many members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.
On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the government troops backed by pro- government militants have killed 62 civilians in the coastal city of Banyas over the past two days.
Banyas has recently joined the violence after rebels reportedly declared the commencement of their battle in the Syrian coast city, which is hometown of the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, to which the ruling elite in Syria belongs.