At least 20 Saudi militants have been killed in a military operation by the Syrian army against the al-Qaeda-linked groups of Jaysh al-Islam and al-Nusra Front in the industrial town of Adra, northwest of the capital, Damascus.
According to Al-Hadath News website, Syrian troops launched the operation on Friday to expel the terrorists from the town, as concern mounted over massacre of people in the area by the foreign-backed militants during the recent days.
Syrian army surrounded the town, strategically located on a main road to the capital, after the terrorists fighting against the government infiltrated the area earlier this week and killed dozens of civilians, most Alawites and Druze, in what appeared to be a sectarian massacre.
According to the reports, militants of Jaysh al-Islam and al-Nusra Front entered buildings housing workers and their families in Adra, shooting men, women and children.
Al-Hadath also said that the militants also executed the mayor of the town.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi condemned the “brutal massacre in Adra” on Friday.
Syrian Social Affairs Minister Kinda Shammat said the armed forces were now carrying out the operation in the area to restore security.
The Syrian army has also been tightening the noose around militants in their strongholds throughout the country.
In recent days, army units have made fresh gains in the strategic town of Yarbud, which lies near the border with Lebanon.
Army troops also took control of the strategic Damascus-Homs highway after seizing most of al-Nabk in the mountainous Qalamoun region.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside the country.
On December 9, Syria urged the United Nations to stop Saudi Arabia from “supporting al-Qaeda-linked militants” and fanning the flames of “terrorism” in the country.
The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over two years.
The UN has predicted that more than four million other Syrians will be forced out of their homes in 2014 by the escalating conflict in the country.