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Syrian army takes key town amid new advances in southwest

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on November 21, 2017 shows government troops posing with portraits of President Bashar al-Assad and his late father Hafez al-Assad in the Syrian border town of al-Bukamal. (Photo by AFP)

Syrian troops have regained control of al-Harak town in Dara’a Province from Takfiri terrorists as the government widens a major offensive against foreign-backed militants in the  troubled southwest.

The military media unit of Lebanon's Hezbollah reported the recapture on Thursday. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that government forces had  advanced into the town's center but fierce fighting continued.

The Britain-based monitoring group, which is sympathetic to militants, also said Syrian aircraft bombed Takfiri hideouts in Busra al-Sham, Nawa, Rakham and other towns in the province.

According to the Syrian state television, government forces entered two villages further northeast. It also said hundred of militants in the Laja area, which the army seized earlier this week, handed themselves in with their weapons to “settle their affairs” with the government.

Syria's official news agency SANA also said units of the army restored control over the strategic Sukar hill and cemented their positions in the eastern countryside of Dara’a.

It said the terrorists’ supply routes were cut off after new advances in the area between Um Walad and Jbeibib villages of the region.

Syria’s southwest is strategically sensitive because of its proximity to the frontiers with both Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The recapture of Dara’a is highly important because it borders the occupied Golan Heights which Israel has used to treat wounded militants for years.

The territory's return to the Syrian government control would cut the much-reported collaboration between Israel and militants and deal a blow to Tel Aviv's plans to annex the Golan Heights.

Damascus says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the Arab country, while Tel Aviv carries out sporadic strikes against Syrian government forces.

Furthermore, the Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria.

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