Syrian Army Advances on Islamist Militants Near Golan Heights
08:51 01.01.2016(updated 10:48 01.01.2016)
The Syrian troops and the National Defense Forces have reportedly managed to regain control of a strategic village from militants in the country's southwestern province of Quneitra, most of which is located in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The village of Samadaniyah in the southwestern Syrian province of Quneitra has been recaptured by the country's army with the help of the National Defense Forces, media reports said.
The strategic village was recaptured after a gun battle with Islamist rebels in Quneitra on Thursday, a fighting that left dozens of militants killed and many more wounded.
In another development on Thursday, scores of Daesh militants were killed in armed clashes with the Syrian forces in the city of Deir ez-Zor, 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus.
Meanwhile, about 157 wanted militants have reportedly turned themselves in to the Syrian authorities in the provinces of Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Damascus.
'The Syrian government has vowed to pardon all those who lay down arms voluntarily and it has remained loyal to its pledge so far, and this has encouraged us to give up fight, especially considering that the government troops, National Defense Forces (NDF) and Hezbollah who also enjoy the air backup of the Syrian and Russian air forces has gained momentum in its battlefield victories,' the Iranian news agency FARS quoted one of those who surrendered in Damascus last month as saying.
The Russian air campaign was launched on September 30, 2015, when more than fifty Russian warplanes, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 jets, commenced precision airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Late in December, Russian Defense Ministry officials said that Russian fighter jets had completed a total of 5,240 sorties since the start of the air operation against Daesh militants in Syria.
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