Syrian troops regain full control of Latakia countryside
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The Syrian army has regained full control over three villages in the western province of Latakia, following heavy fighting with foreign-backed Takfiri militants. The Syrian army on Monday recaptured the villages of Hambousheyah, al-Ballouta and Sheikh Nabhan. "The Syrian troops eradicated the militants who infiltrated into these villages and committed crimes of slaughtering, looting and assaulting the local residents," said a Syrian military source, whose name was not mentioned in the reports. The source said that dozens of militants were killed during the battle, adding that some of the killed militants were Tunisians. On August 17, the Syrian army restored security in the villages of Shakouhi and Abu-Makkah in the northern countryside of Latakia. The Syrian forces also made advances against the militants in battlefields near the capital, Damascus. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the Takfiri militants operating inside Syria. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million displaced in Syria due to the violence.