Syrian government forces have finally liberated the key town of Mliha on the outskirts of the capital Damascus after near daily battles for months to recapture it from foreign-backed insurgents.
“Today the Syrian Arab Army took complete control of the town of Mliha,” said a military source cited by Syrian state television in Damascus.
The news was also confirmed by UK-based opposition group known as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Meanwhile, Syrian state television broadcast live reports from the town, showing streets with holes punched through homes by rockets and twisted metal from telephone line poles.
Mliha lies southeast of the capital and has been a key flashpoint in armed clashes around Damascus between Syrian army units and intruding terrorist elements since April.
The area had been under siege for more than a year, and under near-daily fire by government troops against entrenched terrorist forces in the town.
Mliha is considered strategic because it lies next to the key insurgent bastion of Eastern Ghouta outside the capital, which the Syrian armed forces are also battling to recapture.
This is while director of the opposition linked Observatory, Rami Abdel-Rahman, admitted that the liberation of Mliha would allow the Syrian forces to protect parts of Damascus from terrorist rocket attacks by the armed insurgents.
“It is also the gateway to Eastern Ghouta,” he added.
Meanwhile, Syrian army units continue to battle the foreign-backed insurgents in pockets of the country still occupied by the armed militants and intruding terrorist elements.