The Syrian army has made more gains in its fight against foreign - backed militants operating inside the country establishing full control over the town of al - Nabek.
Units of the armed forces on Monday took the town after a series of successful operations, an unnamed military source told official SANA news agency. The town was captured after government forces seized a key highway near it, which passes through the strategic region of Qalamoun. The highway is extremely valuable to both sides of the battle because it serves as an important link between Damascus and the country's north. The latest gain paves the way for the start of overland shipment of the Syria’s chemical weapons to a Mediterranean port for destruction abroad. The crisis in Syria has created an obstacle to the implementation of an agreement between Damascus and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to remove chemical weapons from Syria. On September 14, Russia and the United States agreed on a deal under which Syria would have its chemical weapons eliminated and the US would in return not carry out planned strikes on the Arab country. The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of the capital Damascus on August 21. Damascus has vehemently denied the accusation, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.