DAMASCUS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian troops on Friday killed 55 armed rebels in separate operations across the country, the official SANA news agency said.
The army killed 20 rebels in an ambush in the eastern al-Ghouta suburb of Damascus, a couple of days after killing 175 others who were attempting to sneak into Damascus.
Also, the army killed 25 rebels in Douma and four in Jobar, both eastern suburbs of Damascus, and six rebels in Deir Attieh town in the north, according to SANA.
While the army is winning battles in Damascus countryside, the rebels reportedly are planning a counterattack there in an attempt to divert the government forces from the central region where they are also advancing.
The Lebanese al-Manar TV and pro-government Syrian TV outlets said some Western and Arab countries are stepping up support to the rebels in Syria, mainly in the southern province of Daraa which borders Jordan.
Meanwhile, pro-government demonstrations have returned to the streets, mainly in the capital and other government-controlled areas.
On Friday, thousands of pro-government Syrians rallied in the Mazzeh district west of Damascus in support of President Bashar al- Assad. Women and children were among those taking part in the rally.
In parallel with its operations across the country, the Syrian government has urged the armed opposition fighters to surrender in exchange for pardon.
Earlier in the day, the Syrian authorities set free 60 armed men in the central province of Homs after they pledged not to undertake acts that could harm the country and its security.
The three-year-old Syrian conflict has left more than 100,000 people dead as well as 9.3 million people within Syria and more than 2 million others outside the country in bad need of humanitarian assistance.