Syrian troops, Hezbollah launch major offensive near Golan

February 11, 2015 4:32 PM

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Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters swept south of the capital Damascus on Wednesday, seizing strategic hills and villages from rebels and a local al-Qaida affiliate near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

State media and opposition activists said the surprise counteroffensive aims at forcing back rebels who had recently advanced closer to embattled President Bashar Assad's seat of power.

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