Sat Mar 2, 2013 3:7AM
Syrian Army soldiers (file photo)

Syrian Army soldiers (file photo)

The Syrian Army has inflicted heavy losses on foreign-backed militants across the country. A unit of the army chased an armed militant group on the outskirts of Damascus on Friday, the official SANA news agency reported. Some members of the group, which was blocking roads and attacking citizens, were killed by Syrian soldiers. Syrian troops also killed a number of militants and several of their leaders in the Khan al-Asal area in the countryside outside Aleppo. On Thursday, the so-called Friends of Syria group held talks with the Syrian opposition in Rome and pledged to provide more material support to the militants operating in the country. The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed. 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. In addition, several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes. In an interview recently broadcast on German television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that the government did not start the conflict and the militant groups were the ones killing Syrian citizens and destroying the country’s infrastructure. NT/HGL
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