Syrian troops capture rebel-held village near Damascus

Syrian troops capture rebel-held village near Damascus

BEIRUT — The Syrian army and an opposition activist group say government forces have captured a village near the capital Damascus that has witnessed intense clashes for weeks.

The Syrian army’s Military Media says troops are now in full control of Basima after gunmen fled to two nearby villages in the Barada Valley region.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops backed by Lebanon’s Hezbollah fighters captured Basima on Friday after heavy airstrikes and artillery shelling.

Syrian troops have been on the offensive in the Barada Valley region since Dec. 22, leading to major water cuts in Damascus. The Barada Valley is the capital’s main water source.

The fighting has been ongoing in the Barada Valley region despite a cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey on Dec. 30.

The Associated Press