Syrian army captures city near Lebanese border

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 Members of the Syrian army have taken a city near the Lebanese border, marking another victory for the Syrian government in its fight against foreign-sponsored militants.
The Syrian troops liberated the city of Tel Kalakh in the northwest of the country three kilometers (two miles) from the Syrian border with Lebanon on Wednesday.

Tel Kalakh’s liberation puts an end to the smuggling of weapons and militants through the city.

In a video published by a Syrian website, a Syrian army officer said, “Terrorist groups infiltrated and terrorized the local people… In response to the request of the local people, the army entered Tel Kalakh to cleanse the area and restore security.”

Wednesday’s capture marks another victory for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after Syrian soldiers recaptured the strategic town of Qusayr on June 5, which consolidated the army’s control around the city of Homs in the center of the country.

Qusayr was an important center and supply route for the foreign-backed militants fighting against the Damascus government.

The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

Damascus says the West and its regional allies, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants.

In an interview broadcast on Turkish television in April, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that if the militants take power in Syria, they could destabilize the entire Middle East region for decades.

“If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take control… the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond,” he stated.

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