The Syrian troops on Monday recaptured areas in the surroundings of a key contested town north of the capital Damascus, the official news agency SANA reported.

The Syrian forces wrested back control over the town of Sahel and the Rima orchards in the surrounding of the Yabroud, a key rebel stronghold north of Damascus, where the Syrian troops have started a wide-scale offensive to recapture the area deemed important to deter the flow of rebels and weapons from Lebanon into Syria and vice versa.

A military source told Xinhua on Monday that the Syrian army has almost fully tightened its grip on the surroundings of Yabroud and will start storming the area soon. […]