Damascus, Dec 29 IANS | 8 months ago

The Syrian troops Saturday killed at least 20 rebels in the central province of Homs, as part of other heavy blows they have recently been dealing to the rebels in different areas, mainly the countryside of the capital Damascus, the official SANA news agency reported.


The army forces killed 20 rebels and destroyed three vehicles in al-Saen area in the countryside of Homs, SANA said, adding that the troops also eliminated another rebel group in al-Hamidieh district of Homs, Xinhua reported.

Meanwhile, several armed "terrorists" were killed Saturday in separate offensives by the Syrian army against rebels' positions in the countryside of Damascus, the coastal city of Latakia and the northern province of Aleppo.

In al-Muadamiyeh suburb of Damascus, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen said that five of the rebels' commanders surrendered themselves to the Syrian troops as part of the truce that has recently been reached between both warring sides in that area.

The deal was concluded last week and entered into effect Thursday after almost a year of suffocating government troops' siege on Muadamiyeh, a rebel stronghold in the southwest of Damascus.

According to the truce, the government troops will allow food stuffs and other necessities into the town for the trapped people. In exchange, the rebels will have to hand over their heavy weaponry to the government troops.

The truce is the first of its kinds during the country's long-standing conflict.

On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 25 civilians were killed in Aleppo province by the government troops' bombardment at the Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood.

The Syrian media has refuted previous activists' accounts on incidents in Aleppo, saying the army only targets the positions of the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The Syrian troops have been fighting what they call "terrorists" for almost three years now. The international community is preparing for holding the Geneva II peace conference designed to bring representatives of the government and the opposition together to work out a political solution to the protracted impasse.

(Posted on 29-12-2013)