Syrian army captures key town east of Damascus: Reports

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Damascus, May 19 (IANS) The Syrian army on Thursday captured a key town in the eastern countryside of Damascus following battles against rebel groups, a monitor group reported.

For the first time in four years, Syrian government troops stormed the town of Deir al-Asafir, one of the most important rebel bastions in the countryside of Damascus, Xinhua reported.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said it depends on a network of activists on the ground inside Syria, said hundreds of families have fled Deir al-Asafir.

The observatory said the Syrian forces are expected to control large swathes in the parts of the eastern Ghouta region.

In previous reports, the observatory said the Syrian army managed to capitalise on the infighting among the rebel groups in eastern Ghouta to capture areas in the key region near Damascus.

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