Sun Dec 2, 2012 11:14PM
Syrian Army soldiers have secured the road leading to Damascus International Airport, days after heavy clashes between militants and government forces in the area led to the closure of the road, Press TV reports. The traffic flow was normal on Sunday with the presence of some Army checkpoints along the highway to maintain security, Mohammad Ali, Press TV correspondent in Damascus, said after visiting the road and the airport. The surrounding areas of the highway such as Beit Sahem and Aqraba at times witness clashes. Syrian troops, however, said they would quickly confront the militants to keep the highway safe. A Syrian Army officer told Press TV that the government troops have been chasing armed men and killed many terrorists but some of them escaped. Gunshots were heard and black smoke was seen rising from the areas close to the highway. A driver told Press TV that now the road is safe for travel. Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security forces, have lost their lives in the violence. Damascus says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the militants in Syria had acquired “as many as 40 shoulder-fired missile systems in recent weeks,” and “at least some” of the weaponry had been provided by Qatar. On Wednesday, The New York Times said the US administration “is considering deeper intervention to help push [Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad from power.” GJH/HN