Fighters loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad ride on military vehicles and tanks after regaining control of Deir al-Adas, a town south of Damascus, Deraa countryside February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer
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Syrian troops backed by Hezbollah fighters swept south of the capital Damascus Wednesday, seizing strategic hills and villages from rebels and a local Al-Qaeda affiliate near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.The area has been tense lately, particularly after a Jan. 18 Israeli airstrike in Qunaitra on the edge of the Golan that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.The Syrian government last year lost large parts of Qunaitra province to opposition fighters, many of them from the Nusra Front.Hezbollah said the fighters were on a reconnaissance mission.Gen. Ibrahim Jbawi, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army's southern front, said the fighting killed or wounded 200 government forces and Hezbollah fighters.
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