by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
July 29, 2013 (TSR) – The Syrian army regained full control of Homs’ neighborhood of al-Khaldiyeh, one of the largest bastions for foreign-backed militants fighting Syrian government.
The army unleashed a wide-scale offensive last Saturday against the strategic district, which is one of the few districts left under the rebels’ control in the Homs province.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also confirmed the event, as it said that government troops now controlled most of Khaldiyeh where they seized Khalid Bin al-Walid mosque and concentrated on fighting militants on the outskirts of the district.
The fall of Homs, dubbed by armed groups “the capital of the revolution”, is a major government victory as Syria‘s third city is a key route linking Damascus to the coast.
“The armed forces have restored security and stability across the neighborhood ofKhaldiyeh,” one of the largest rebel bastions in the central city, the Syrian state television said.
“Collapse of the terrorists’ citadel in Khaldiyeh — we’re going from victory to victory,” the broadcaster jubilantly reported.
SANA news agency also reported the event, quoting an official source as saying that the army had “dismantled dozens of explosive devices which the terrorists planted in the residential houses and the public roads, restoring security and stability to the area.”
“We cleansed the neighborhood of terrorists this morning,” said an army officer interviewed by the Syrian television.
“We will continue to chase the terrorists from all other areas of Homs,” he added.
The recapture of Khaldiyeh comes a month after it launched a military operation to force out the armed groups who took from this neighborhood a bastion for them.
Meanwhile, pro-government TVs aired footage of al-Khalidieh showing the city in great destruction.
The Syrian government troops have focused most of its efforts to secure Homs province. Its latest important gain was the recapturing of the city of al-Qussair on the borders with Lebanon last month.
Experts said the army is working on securing southern and central areas in Syria before opening a large-scale offensive to recapture the northern province of Aleppo, which has largely spiraled out of the government’s control into the hands of al- Qaida-linked groups, mainly the Nusra Front.
The victory also follows the army’s recapture of the strategic Homs province town of Qusayr in June.
The United Nations said recently that more than 100,000 people had been killed in Syria’s 28-month crisis, with about 1.7 million forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries.