Pro-government forces patrol a street in the Syrian town of Yabrud on March 16, 2014 after they seized full control of the rebel bastion in the strategic Qalamun region near the Lebanese border. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID
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Syrian regime forces were Monday readying an assault on the last rebel-held areas in the Qalamoun mountains, strategically located on the Lebanese border, after overrunning key opposition bastion Yabroud.The capture on Sunday of Yabroud by Syrian troops and fighters of Lebanon's Hezbollah marked a significant setback for the rebels as it severs their supply lines from across the Lebanese border.Exhausted Syrian soldiers sat in the streets after seizing the town in fierce clashes with the support of battle-hardened fighters from Shiite militant group Hezbollah and pro-regime militiamen.Hours after the fall of Yabroud, a suicide car bombing killed two people late Sunday in a Hezbollah-held area in the Bekaa near the Syrian border, Lebanese officials said, revising an earlier toll of four.The fall of Yabroud comes after months of Syrian army operations in the Qalamoun region.The army's capture of the town came a day after Syria's conflict, which has killed more than 146,000 people, entered its fourth year.
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