DAMASCUS, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Syrian troops on Wednesday killed more than 175 rebels in an ambush in the eastern countryside of the capital Damascus, the country's official TV said.
The troops ambushed the rebels at al-Ataibeh suburb in the Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, the report said. The rebels were radicals from the al-Qaida-inspired Nusra Front and the so-called Islam Brigade.
The TV said the ambush was based on "intelligence information." An army unit spotted the rebel group while moving on several routes. They eventually ambushed the rebels in Ataibeh.
The report said most of the killed were Saudis, Qataris and Chechens. The troops confiscated their weapons as well. The state- TV aired footage of the ambush site, showing tens of dead bodies of the rebels.
The rebels, backed by foreign jihadists, have long opted to launch planned attacks on the Eastern Ghouta countryside, in a bid to break the Syrian government's control over the surrounding of the capital.
Opposition fighters are reportedly planning a large-scale offensive against the government-controlled countryside of Damascus. They tried to break its siege and halt its progress in central Syria.
The Lebanese al-Manar TV and pro-government Syrian TV outlets said some Western and Arab countries are stepping up support to rebels in Syria, mainly in the southern province of Daraa which borders Jordan.
Reports say thousands of Syrian rebels are getting special training in camps on the Syrian-Jordanian border. They are preparing for attacks on Damascus, only about 98 km from Daraa.