Syrian army units continue their offensive against foreign - backed militants in several parts of the country.
On Monday, the Syrian army continued mop-up operations on the outskirts of the capital Damascus and the south-western city of Dara’a. A number of militants were killed when they engaged in battle with Syria’s national defense forces in a suburb of Damascus. Meanwhile, a Libyan commander and a dozen militants from the al-Qaeda affiliate group Islamic State of Iraq (ISIL) and the Levant were killed in clashes with rival militant groups in north of Syria near Turkish borders. Inter-fighting has increased in recent months between various groups in Syria. Most of clashes are between members of extremist groups such as ISIL and al-Nusra Front with secular-leaning ones such as the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. A very large number of the militants operating inside Syria are reportedly foreign nationals. According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. In a recent statement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled the country’s 29-month-long conflict, reached two million. The UN refugee agency further said some 4.2 million people have also been displaced inside Syria since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country.