Connect to share and comment

Syrian army retakes key rebel-held area in Homs district

The Syrian government-backed army is making key advances in rebel-held territory.

Syria june 8Enlarge
Syrian army soldiers gather in front of a badly damaged clock tower on top of which flies a Syrian flag on the main square of the city of Qusayr on June 5, 2013 in Syria's central Homs province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The government-backed Syrian army has recaptured a key district that was held by the rebels, according to the state broadcaster.

"The armed forces have restored security and stability across the neighborhood of Khaldiyeh," state television reported on Monday, refering to an area in the central city of Homs.

Khaldiyeh is an important transit route between Damascus and the Mediterranean coast.

Images from state-run TV showed extensive destruction in the mainly residential neighborhood. Activists told reporters that most of the buildings were no longer fit to live in.

The advance by the Syrian army comes just a day after rebels were expelled from a mosque they had held for more than a year.

Syrian government forces captured the ancient Khalid Ibn al-Walid Mosque in Khaldiyeh on Saturday.

Khaldiyeh was considered one of strongest bastions of rebels in Syria's third largest city. It has been under opposition control since 2011.

The army recaptured the key province town of Qusayr near the Lebanon border in June, with help from the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah.

If the army were to fully recapture Homs, called the "capital of the revolution" by rebels, it would be a major victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

More from GlobalPost: Series of bombings in Iraq kill at least 60

Meanwhile, Syrian activists said the death toll from the conflict continued to rise.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring group that keeps an independent tally of those killed on both sides of the Syrian conflict, cited activists, saying 150 soldiers were killed in and around the town of Khan al-Assal by rebels on Friday.

Syrian state media said that 123 "civilians and military personnel" were killed in a "massacre" and others were still missing.

GlobalPost in-depth: Inside Syria

"Those involved in such crimes will be held accountable," the opposition Syrian National Coalition said in a statement. It also said reports suggested those involved in the massacre were not part of the main rebel coalition but "armed groups."

The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed in the more than two-year civil war.

richard63098409 More than 1 year ago
my best friend's step-sister makes $78/hr on the computer. She has been out of work for seven months but last month her pay check was $12621 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site.....www.Rush64.ℂℴm
Allah More than 1 year ago
al Qaeder is losing
bellomaria361 More than 1 year ago
as Joan replied I am stunned that some people can make $6170 in 1 month on the computer. did you read this link ............ Rich6. ℂom
Allah More than 1 year ago
stop advertising junks here
Katherine Patterson More than 1 year ago
my neighbor's mom makes $76/hr on the internet. She has been fired for ten months but last month her payment was $20662 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site...>>> ℂnn13.ℂoℳ
Albert Kaye More than 1 year ago
first it was a "cousin,now it's your "neighbors Mom".....ofcourse if this money was so easy wouldn't you just take the work yourself? Spammers should be shot and pissed on.
Allah More than 1 year ago
stop advertising junks here
Janice12q More than 1 year ago
If you think Douglas`s story is amazing..., last pay check my friend recieved a check for $7158 working an their house and there classmate's step-aunt`s neighbour was doing this for 4 months and easily made more than $7158 in there spare time on- line. use the instructions available at this link... Go to site and open Home for details ======>>>>>>>> www.jℴℬs31.Com +======
Allah More than 1 year ago
stop advertising junks here