Tue Apr 8, 2014 9:11PM
Soldiers of the Syrian army (file photo)
Soldiers of the Syrian army (file photo)

Syrian army troops have made fresh gains in their battle against foreign-backed militants in the rugged mountains of Latakia’s northern countryside, Press TV reports.

The army regained control of the strategic al-Haramiyah Mountain in the province on Tuesday after killing a large number of militants who had infiltrated into Syria from Turkey.

The mountain overlooks the town of Kassab and the al-Naser Mountain where militants fighting against the Syrian government are heavily present.

The army units are currently targeting the foreign-sponsored militants in the al-Naser Mountain in the surroundings of Kassab while the troops are expected to launch a massive military operation to secure the town.

Syrian authorities say Turkey is helping the militants launch attacks on Kassab from the Turkish territory, and criticize Ankara for providing cover for the assaults.

The fresh army advance came as the foreign-backed militancy in Syria has suffered a string of losses in recent weeks.

On Monday, a Syrian army unit ambushed militants in the industrial area of Adra in the countryside of the capital Damascus, killing 20 of them. The militants belonged to a terrorist group, calling itself Jaish al-Islam.

Syrian troops also conducted an operation against the militants in al-Rashideen in the major city of Aleppo, killing and injuring many of them.

On Sunday, Syrian troops continued their operations near al-Moleha area in the countryside of Damascus, destroying a workshop for making improvised explosive devices (IED) and killing a number of the militants.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.