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Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:56AM
Syrian soldiers (file photo)

Syrian soldiers (file photo)

The Syrian army has made advancements on the strategic town of al-Qusayr near the border with Lebanon. On Sunday, a large number of militants were killed during intense clashes with Syrian soldiers as government forces sought to flush armed men out of villages surrounding al-Qusayr, which is situated about 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of the western city of Homs, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported. The Syrian forces also thwarted an attack by a group of gunmen against the Daba’a military airbase near al-Qusayr. The gunmen attempted to enter the airbase but were forced to flee. On April 20, Syrian troops established total control on the villages of al-Radwanieh, al-Saadieh and al-Burhanieh, al-Mansourieh and al-Sukmanieh in the countryside of al-Qusayr. Meanwhile, Syrian soldiers killed dozens of militants on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, on Sunday as the army continues mop-up operations in the area. Several international human rights organizations have stated that the foreign-backed militant groups are committing war crimes in Syria. UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on April 18 that a quarter of Syria’s 22 million people are displaced within the country and 1.3 million have fled to other states in the Middle East and North Africa. “Children are among the ones who suffer most. Children have been murdered, tortured and subjected to sexual violence. Many do not have enough food to eat. Millions have been traumatized by the horrors,” Amos said. Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday that the situation in the country was improving as the army enjoys people’s support in the fight against terrorism. MP/HSN
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