The News Minute | August 2, 2014 | 11:14 pm IST
Damascus: Many radical jihadists have been killed, as Syrian forces foiled an infiltration attempt from neighbouring Lebanon, media reports said on Saturday.
Syrian soldiers backed by the pro-government National Defence Forces confronted an armed rebel group infiltrating from Lebanon's border town of Ersal into Syria's al-Qalamoun region in the northern countryside of the capital Damascus, Xinhua reported citing state-run SANA news agency.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 50 rebels were killed while attempting to infiltrate.
The ongoing clashes between government troops and an array of rebel groups also resulted in losses among the ranks of the government forces and their allies Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside the government troops against the rebel groups.
The Islamist militant groups are advancing in al-Qalamoun region, where they had lost their ground last year as a result of a sweeping military operation by Syrian forces, the Observatory said.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly conflict since March 2011. Over 160,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced, many of them taking refuge in Lebanon.