The Syrian army continues to tighten the noose around foreign-backed militants in the Damascus countryside of al-Muqaddimah, Press TV reports.
Syrian government forces have regained control of al-Muqaddimah’s industrial zone, which has been a scene of a fierce battle between the army and the militants, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.
The Syrian army accompanied the Press TV team to the heart of the area since an armored vehicle is essential to avoid sniper fire from the extremists.
The militants have destroyed some of the equipment in factories. They have fortified themselves in some blocks for over two months and have created solid barriers for themselves. However, the army has secured the factory area.
“On August 24, armed groups occupied my factory. They sabotaged some parts of it. They shot at computers, and used some of the fabrics to make barriers. The army has regained control and called us to come back and check our property,” Rami Issa, a textile factory owner, told Press TV.
Other parts of al-Muqaddimah, namely the al-Moddarras and Hamdan neighborhoods, have also been secured by the army.
An army officer told Press TV that the troops evacuated civilians in the area before starting the operation and “purged the area of the militants within hours.”
He added that the army killed a large number of militants, including several foreigners.
The government troops have recently conducted successful clean-up operations across the country, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.
A recent British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.
The extracts of the study by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s were published on September 16.
IHS Jane’s estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front and the rest fight for different militant groups.
The analysis also said that a large number of extremists from foreign countries are also active in Syria.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence.