Syria Army recaptures most of Latakia province, kills scores of militants

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Syrian army has taken back most of the coastal province of Latakia, killing scores of foreign-backed militants. On Tuesday, the army regained control of almost all parts of the northern countryside of the Latakia city. A large number of militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were reportedly killed in the operation. Government troops have also secured the areas they had occupied a couple of weeks ago. Military officials say they are now getting closer to the Salma village, which is the last bastion of Takfiri extremists in the region. The Latakia Province has been the scene of fierce fighting between the two sides in recent days. On Monday, the Syrian army recaptured the villages of Hambousheyah, al-Ballouta and Sheikh Nabhan in the province. "The Syrian troops eradicated the militants who [had] infiltrated into these villages and committed crimes of slaughtering, looting and assaulting the local residents," said a Syrian military source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. On August 17, the Syrian army restored security in the villages of Shakouhi and Abu-Makkah in the northern countryside of Latakia. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced in the violence. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

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