Syrian soldiers continue their clean-up operations in Kassab near the border with Turkey after recapturing the strategic town from foreign-backed militants, Press TV reports.
According to Press TV, Syrian army engineers have combed through Kassab, situated in the coastal province of Latakia, and defused a large amount of explosives and mortars after liberating the town.
“Kassab is in a mountainous border area and close to the Syrian coast. Militants were trying to establish control over parts of the Syrian coastal area and create a buffer zone near the Turkish border to facilitate their movement into Syria. We foiled their scheme,” a Syrian army official told Press TV.
On June 14, Syrian government forces retook control of Kassab from the Takfiri groups and reestablished security there. Many terrorists were killed in the army operation. Kassab’s residents have begun returning home following the town’s liberation.
The ethnic Armenian-inhabited town had been under siege by extremists from various militant groups, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.
Also on June 5, Syrian troops regained control of the town of al-Thawra in Kiswah district near the capital, Damascus, killing a large number of militants. Sources said that army forces also destroyed militant hideouts in the nearby town of Zakia.
Over the past months, Syrian armed forces have achieved major victories in their battle against the Takfiri groups operating against the Damascus government.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence for more than three years. Some reports say more than 160,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced due to the turmoil fueled by the foreign-backed militants.