Syrian troops push towards Damascus

Syrian troops are crushing pockets of resistance on the outskirts of Damascus as they advance into suburbs previously held by rebel forces, activists said.

Today’s offensive comes hours before key UN talks over a draft resolution demanding President Bashar Assad step aside.

Government forces yesterday regained control of most of the capital’s eastern suburbs after dissident soldiers briefly captured the territory last week.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said “intense shooting” was heard in Zamalka and Arbeen as the tanks and troops advanced.

Meanwhile, army defectors gained full control of the central town of Rastan today after days of intense clashes, according to a town activist.

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