40 fighters killed in clashes near Damascus
Beirut: At least 40 fighters have been killed in clashes between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic militias in a town on the outskirts of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.
The clashes, in which 26 pro-government fighters and 14 rebels were killed, occurred Thursday in the town of Beit Tema.
Meanwhile, fighting continued between the Islamists and government forces backed by Lebanese Shia Hezbollah fighters in the areas of Jobar and Al Qabun, northeast of Damascus.
Aircraft of the Syrian regime bombed several positions in Jobar, but there were no immediate reports on casualties.
More than 200,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in March 2011, according to the United Nations.