Middle East

Syrian army regains full control of Rankous

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows vehicles driving into the town of Yabrud, in the Qalamun region near the Lebanese border, as residents begin to return home on March 31, 2014. AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA

BEIRUT: The Syrian army regained full control of Rankous in the Qalamoun region, Al-Manar television and Syrian state news agency reported Wednesday.

Regime forces continued to hunt down remnants of “terrorist” groups on the outskirts of the area known as the Northern Neighborhood and surrounding mountains after killing scores of them in town, SANA said.

“Army units and armed forces completed their operations in the town of Rankous in Damascus province and restored security and stability to the town after killing a large number of terrorists,” the agency said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-regime Britain-basedmonitoring group, had earlier confirmed that fierce fighting was taking place in the area between Nusra Front along with Islamist brigades and the Lebanese Hezbollah militiamen backed by the regime and the National Defense forces.

The announcement came a day after the army surrounded and shelled the town, one of the last remaining rebel strongholds, in preparation for the operation.





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