Syrian army recaptures Ma`loula

Syrian armed forces have reportedly managed to retake full control of the Christian town of Ma’loula as the army continues to gain more ground in its fight against Takfiri militants.

“The army has taken full control of Ma’loula and restored security and stability,” AFP quoted a Syrian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying on Monday, adding, “Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamoun,” which is situated in the countryside of the capital, Damascus.

In a similar report on Monday, Syria’s official news agency SANA also cited an unnamed military source as saying that the army units had recaptured the historic town located about 70 kilometers northeast of Damascus.

Syrian forces also dismantled the mines and explosives planted by the foreign-backed terrorists across Ma’loula, according to the military official.

Ma’loula fell to the foreign-backed Takfiri groups last December. The town is regarded as a symbol of the ancient Christian presence in Syria.

Also on Monday, Syrian soldiers entered the town of al-Sarkha in the Qalamoun region, taking back full control of the town from the extremist militants. A huge number of terrorists were killed in the army operation in the mountainous areas surrounding al-Sarkha.

Syria has been the scene of a deadly crisis since March 2011. Reports say more than 150,000 people have so far been killed and millions displaced in the foreign-backed violence.