Syrian government forces have taken control of villages in southern Syria, state media said on Saturday, part of a campaign they started this month against insurgents posing one of the biggest remaining threats to Damascus.

The large offensive is backed by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah and initially made swift progress before slowing. The gains, made on Friday and Saturday, mark a new push in the government campaign.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said the village of Tal Al-Majda in Sweida province and Tal Antar in Deraa were taken. Both are near Jordan. […]