Foreign - backed militants in Syria have carried out a huge car bomb attack and stormed a landmark building in the eastern city of Deir el - Zour.The blast occurred on Saturday after armed men detonated an explosive-laden vehicle they had placed close to the city’s tallest building. The gunmen then stormed the building, but were forced to retreat by Syrian troops. The government forces also shelled several areas of the city held by militants. Meanwhile, the Syrian Army pressed ahead with operations against the foreign-supplied armed groups as they were trying to enter the capital, Damascus, through the Jobar area. The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed. The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the insurgents are foreign nationals. Damascus says the West and its regional allies Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are supporting the armed groups. In addition, several international human rights organizations have accused the militants fighting the Syrian government of committing war crimes.