Syrian security forces have regained control of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey in northwestern Syria, Press TV reports. The Syrian army and armed militants engaged in a battle on Saturday in the area of the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, which is located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of the city of Aleppo. The Syrian military said several militia members were killed and many more escaped into Turkey after about seven hours of clashes. There are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals, mostly from Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. The Syrian army has also engaged in battles with militants in the northern city of Aleppo and the western city of Homs over the past week.
Meanwhile, calm has been restored in Damascus and the northwestern province of Idlib.Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings. Western states have been calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. However, Russia and China are strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad. The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country. AGB/AS/HGL