BEIRUT, June 9 (Itar-Tass) - The Syrian forces on Saturday conducted a major operation near the city of Hama (220 km north of Damascus). The Al-Manar television station reported that 52 armed extremists from the Dzhebhat al-Nusra group were destroyed in the operation. A total of 11 Syrian soldiers were killed in the battle and more than 20 injured. According the SANA news agency, a base of terrorists was also liquidated in Salmiya on the Hama-Aleppo highway.
The government forces at the approaches to the Syrian northern capital liberated two strategically important areas - Maaret Al Atik and Kfar Hamra through which the supply of urban neighbourhoods, seized by militants, was conducted. Army units “pursue the enemy, inflicting heavy losses on it,” military sources say.
South of Aleppo, in Al Aziza soldiers repelled an attack on a checkpoint, 23 militants were killed in the shootout. Another attack was rebuffed in the nearby town of Deir Asafir, according to SANA.
Syrian troops have started mopping up operations in settlements west of Aleppo on the highway to Idlib. The soldiers are fighting against the rebels in the Khan al-Asal area. The most fierce resistance the militants offer north of the city on the Hayan-Anadan highway. SANA reported that groups made up of mercenaries are fighting there.