Syrian government troops advancing south of Damascus

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have captured several villages south of the capital, Damascus, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday.

Syrian state television quoted an unnamed military official as saying that the troops have gained control of the village of Deir Maker on Wednesday morning, as well as the nearby areas of Tal al-Arous and Tal al-Sarjeh. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack was spearheaded by Hezbollah fighters, adding that they have captured the town of Deir al-Adas and nearby hills. The group said 20 opposition fighters were killed in the area on Tuesday.



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