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Syrian army advancing on rebel town near Lebanon

SAHEL - Syrian government troops are tightening their grip on the last rebel stronghold near the border with Lebanon a day after taking control of a key village in the area, a field commander told reporters on Tuesday.

 

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have seized a string of towns and villages in the rugged Qalamoun region along the Lebanese border since launching an offensive there in November. Backed by gunmen from the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group, the army seized the village of Sahel this week and is closing in on Yabroud, the largest town in the mountainous region still in rebel hands. (AP)