DAMASCUS, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian troops ambushed some radical rebel groups in the eastern countryside of the capital Damascus, killing and injuring more than 50 of them, the state-run SANA news agency reported.
The ambush took place at al-Ataibeh suburb, SANA said, publishing a video footage purporting to show tens of the rebels' dead bodies tossed and scattered on an unpaved road.
"The armed terrorist groups are crumbling under the painful blow of our military heroes," according to SANA.
It said the rebels belonged to the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the so-called Islam Brigade group.
The fresh progress came as the Syrian army has unleashed a wide- scale operation in the eastern countryside of Damascus, aiming to besiege and eliminate the rebel groups in the surroundings of Damascus to further protect the capital and prevent the rebels from unleashing indiscriminate mortar attacks against districts of the capital.
A day earlier, the Syrian army regained full control of the strategic Damascus' suburb of Htaitet al-Turkman, thus completing a full siege against rebels east of the Syrian capital, according to SANA.
The army regained control of Htaitet al-Turkman after a 48-hour- long operation that resulted in the killing of at least 100 rebels, SANA said.
Meanwhile, military experts said the new victory is of a great significance as the recapture means the road to the Damascus airport is secure and mortar attacks by the rebels against the capital should decrease.
By the recapture, the rebels, who are entrenched in the eastern al-Ghouta suburb, are now besieged in all directions and severed from any source of reinforcement.
The fresh military push also came as a first step toward regaining Damascus' northern al-Qalamoun area from the hands of the rebels, who have entrenched there due to its geographic importance as the northern entrance of Damascus.
Media reports said the battle to recapture al-Qalamoun from the rebels is imminent, underscoring the significance of the upcoming battle there for both the government troops and the rebels.
In Damascus itself, the military and security forces' presence has become thick over the past week, as the checkpoints have also increased their inspection measures, causing suffocating traffic jams during the rush hours.
The increased inspection has been more noticeable in the countryside of Damascus, including the northern Qudsaya suburb, which has witnessed sporadic security incidents during the country 's long-standing crisis.