Syria army continues to make gains against militants
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The Syrian army continues to make gains against the foreign-backed militants, killing scores of them across the country and destroying a number of their hideouts. The military said on Friday that the government forces managed to restore security to the town of al-Hara in the Dara'a countryside after inflicting heavy losses on the militants. The army units also seized large amounts of weapons and ammunition in several areas in Aleppo Governorate and foiled an attempt by the militants to infiltrate into an Aleppo district. Elsewhere, in Homs and in the countryside outside the capital Damascus, Syrian soldiers clashed with militants and inflicted heavy losses on them. Over the past weeks, the Syrian army has managed to inflict major losses on anti-Damascus armed groups. The army has also conducted successful clean-up operations across the country. On Thursday, Syrian forces killed a group of Takfiri militants, mostly foreign mercenaries in the coastal city of Latakia. There were a number of Libyan and Moroccan nationals among those killed during heavy clashes with the Syrian soldiers, according to a Syrian security source. In late July, Syrian troops liberated the key district of Khaldiyeh in the western city of Homs after weeks of clashes with militants. It was the second victory of the Syrian army since June, when it captured the militant-held town of Qusayr in Homs. Syria has been gripped by deadly turmoil since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence. Reports indicate that Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside the country. President Bashar al-Assad said on August 5 that Syria will strike terror "with an iron fist."