Syrian army retakes Damascus areas captured by rebels

AP , Monday 20 Mar 2017

A road sign that shows the direction to Jobar district is pictured in the east of the capital Damascus, in this handout picture provided by SANA on March 19, 2017, Syria (Photo: Reuters)

Syrian state TV says government forces have regained control of parts of Damascus that were attacked and captured by rebels and militants the previous day.

The sudden rebel seizure overnight, through underground tunnels, was the insurgents' most serious infiltration in years into the Syrian capital. Syria's al-Qaida affiliate and the independent Failaq al-Rahman faction also participated in the attack.

The TV on Monday quoted an unnamed military official as saying the army "regained control of all the points that terrorists" had infiltrated on Sunday. It also quotes Russia's ambassador to Damascus as saying one of the embassy's buildings was hit with a shell during the clashes.

Sunday's raids reflected a temporary and rare advance by rebels after months of steady losses at the hands of government forces across the country.

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