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The Syrian army continues fighting foreign-backed militants on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, and clearing the area of armed groups.

The army soldiers reportedly captured the strategic town of Shaba’a near Damascus.

Government forces also discovered several hidden tunnels in the town used by the armed groups fighting against the Syrian government.

The militants had been positioned in the town since the unrest began in Syria in 2011.

Reports said that clashes continue between the army soldiers and the militants outside the town.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to extracts from British defense consultancy IHS Jane’s published in Daily Telegraph, some 100,000 militants are fighting in Syria against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The militants have split into some 1,000 brands since the Syria crisis began, said the study, which is based on intelligence estimates and interviews with militants.

Around 10,000 of the militants, with many being foreign nationals, are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as the al-Nusra Front and the rest fight for different militant groups.

According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the turmoil in Syria.

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SAB/KA/HMV – PressTV – 19/9/2013

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