Syrian army advances in strategic Damascus suburb
DAMASCUS, Syria – Syrian troops advanced in a strategic suburb of Damascus and bombarded other areas around the capital Saturday in a push to secure President Bashar Assad's seat of power as rebels make gains in the north.
A government official said regime forces had taken much of Daraya, an area on the edge of a major military air base just south of the capital, after nearly two months of heavy fighting that anti-regime activists say has killed dozens of people and uprooted tens of thousands more from their homes.
The announcement came a day after rebels and Islamic militants seeking to topple Assad took full control of the northwestern Taftanaz air base in a significant blow to the military. The back-to-back declarations highlight the see-saw nature of the conflict in Syria, where one side's victories in one area are often followed by reverses in another.
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