The Syrian army said on Wednesday it had repulsed a major rebel offensive to capture remaining positions held by the Syrian military in Quneitra province, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, where bombardments could be seen a short distance away.

Quneitra sits in a sensitive region around 70 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of the capital Damascus and has been the scene of frequent fighting between insurgent groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad and the army backed by allied militia.

A Syrian army source told Reuters the army had beat back an insurgent assault to take over several hilltops and the government-controlled villages of Tel Shaar and Tel Bazaq, north of the deserted provincial capital of Quneitra. […]