DAMASCUS, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian troops on Tuesday completely recaptured the strategic town of Qara in the northern countryside of the capital Damascus, the state-run SANA news agency reported.
The army recaptured Qara, which is located in the al-Qalamoun Mountains north of Damascus, after eliminating the last "terrorist pockets" there, SANA said.
The Syrian troops have started a large-scale offensive against the rebels in the north of Damascus earlier this week to dislodge them from Qara that was vital for the rebels who were wishing to attack the capital from its northern gate.
The recent battles in Qara have resulted in the killing of tens of rebels as the army has become ready to advance deeper into al- Qalamoun Mountains.
The al-Qalamoun constitutes a key base for the rebels, as the area is the northern entrance of Damascus.
For the government troops, controlling the area is important to secure the Damascus-Homs international road and a number of Syrian military bases nearby.
The military operation in the northern rim of Damascus came along with a series of operations in the southern and eastern countryside of Damascus as part of the military tactic to dislodge the rebels from key areas of Damascus, Homs and the northern province of Aleppo.
Syria's troops recapture key town near Damascus
DAMASCUS, Nov.13 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian troops on Wednesday recaptured the town of Hajjira in the countryside of the capital Damascus after dislodging the rebels from it, the state-run SANA news agency reported. Full story