Bashar al-Assad’s troops capture Homs stronghold from Syrian rebels after month-long offensive, state TV claims

Originally posted on National Post | News:

DAMASCUS, Syria — Government troops captured a neighbourhood Monday in the embattled city of Homs that has been a rebel stronghold since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, dealing another blow to beleaguered opposition forces in the centre of the country, according to the state media.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group, however, denied that regime forces had seized all of the district of Khaldiyeh, saying there was still scattered fighting in southern areas of the neighbourhood.

Syrian TV aired footage from the neighbourhood, showing troops roaming deserted streets and waving flags in front of shell-scarred buildings. Two opposition activists in the area who could normally be contacted via Skype were offline Monday.

Government troops launched a sweeping offensive to retake rebel-held areas of Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, a month ago. Even if small pockets of resistance remain, the fall of Khaldiyeh to regime troops appeared to…

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