DAMASCUS, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Syrian troops on Sunday re-opened the freeway that connects the capital Damascus with the southern province of Daraa after intense clashes with the rebels, local media reported.
The rebels attacked the freeway over the past 24 hours and intense clashes erupted with army forces, the report said, adding that the rebels' attack aimed at cutting off the freeway and taking some positions there.
However, the rebels' attempt was rendered flat and the military re-opened the road for the civilians after securing it on Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, the oppositional Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday that 16 rebel fighters were killed in the northern province of al-Raqqa and the eastern Deir al-Zour province as a result of the battles between the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and armed Kurdish militias known as YPG.
The observatory also claimed that 13 others were killed in the northern province of Aleppo as a result of the government troops' shelling on al-Salheen neighborhood.
The violence in Syria has been persistent since the eruption of Syria's crisis in 2011. The Syrian government and a delegation of the Syrian opposition are currently holding meetings in Geneva to try to hammer out a political solution to the long-standing conflict that has killed over 130,000 people.