News   /   Syria

Syrian army, militants clash ahead of Geneva peace talks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 20, 2017 shows a damaged area in an industrial zone between Jobar and Qabun, on the eastern outskirts of the capital Damascus, after Syrian government forces pushed back a surprise assault by militants. (Photo by AFP)

Heavy clashes have continued between the Syrian government forces and the Takfiri militants near the capital Damascus and north of Hama ahead of the UN-led peace talks, which are about to begin in Geneva.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday the clashes between the Syrian forces and the militants around the industrial zone in Jobar district in the northeastern suburbs of Damascus have intensified after midnight.

Jobar separates Eastern Ghouta, which holds large concentrations of Takfiri terrorists, from Damascus.

A military media unit run by the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, whose fighters are helping the Syrian army, also reported fighting early on Thursday in the district as well as a heavy bombardment against terrorist positions and movements in the area.

Militants have been trying for years to break into the heart of Damascus, but they have failed to do so amid stiff resistance from government forces.

The clashes are taking place despite a truce which has been in place across Syria since last December. The ceasefire does not include the Takfiri terrorists of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Daesh.

The fighting comes as Syrian government and opposition delegations are set to attend a new round of peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland, later in the day.

The Britain-based monitoring group also claimed that militants led by Tahrir al-Sham, which includes the former al-Qaeda branch in Syria, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, captured more than 11 towns and villages in the first 24 hours of their offensive that began late on Tuesday.

The Syrian army has not made any comments on the report so far.

Militant groups fighting under the banner of the so-called Free Syrian Army are reportedly involved in the offensive.

The observatory also claimed that the militants are a few kilometers away from Hama city, adding that fighting is ongoing on Thursday.

A Syrian military source reportedly said on Wednesday that reinforcements were headed to the Hama front.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The UN envoy for Syria estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku