Syrian opposition rebels on Friday launched a counterattack on government troops in the strategic town of al-Kussair near the border with Lebanon, activists said, dpa reported.
"The revolutionary fighters managed in the counterattack to retrieve three posts that were captured by the regime forces and their allies from Hezbollah," said Hadi al-Abdullah, a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists in Syria.
Al-Kussair lies near a major highway connecting the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the government-controlled cities of Tartous and Latakia.
The rebels, fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, use the area to smuggle weapons from Lebanon.
Al-Assad's troops, backed by fighters with the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, have battled in the past few days to regain control of the town from rebels.
Abu Raad, an activist based on the Lebanese-Syrian border, said the rebels had reinforced their positions in al-Kussair in anticipation of a new offensive by government troops.
At least two rebel fighters were killed Friday in clashes with al-Assad's forces and Hezbollah militiamen in al-Kussair, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Britain-based opposition organization also said regime troops were shelling the town.
Syria's state news agency, SANA, quoted an official source as saying that government troops had killed at least 13 "terrorists" in the northern section of al-Kussair, using an official term referring to rebels.
Al-Assad told a visiting Tunisian delegation in Damascus Thursday that he was determined to crush the rebellion "and those who support it regionally and globally," SANA reported.
The United States and Russia are pushing for holding an international conference to bring Damascus and the opposition to negotiate an end to the 26-month conflict, which the United Nations estimated has killed at least 80,000 people.
CihanLast Mod: 24 Mayıs 2013, 14:10