Report: Syrian army, allies push into southern Damascus

November 3, 2013 19:20

AMMAN - Syrian army and Shi'ite Muslim fighters attacked Sunni rebel areas in southern Damascus on Sunday in an offensive aimed at breaking resistance to President Bashar Assad around the capital, activists said.

Militia from Iran and Iraq and the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah, who overran two southern suburbs last month, are looking to build up their advances by capturing opposition districts closer to the center of Damascus, the sources said.

Fighters from the al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State for Iraq and the Levant, which is heavily comprised of foreign jihadists, have joined Islamist rebel brigades and Free Syrian Army units in close quarters fighting around the district of Hajar al-Aswad.

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