The Syrian army has advanced on the Damascus neighborhood of Jobar, inflicting heavy losses on foreign-backed militants. Government forces on Sunday closed in on the militants after heavy clashes killing a large number them. “We, soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army in Jobar, are determined to continue our national duty in ending armed terrorist groups and cleaning the territories of Syrian Arab Republic from those terrorist mercenaries,” a Syrian officer said. Syrian fighter jets and artillery also targeted militant positions, destroying their hideouts and tunnels. The Syrian army also released a video showing smoke rising from buildings in Jobar and clashes between the soldiers and militants. The army said the operation was launched to flush the militants out of the strategic area, which had been used as a launch pad for many attacks on the capital, Damascus. Over the past months, the Syrian army has made major gains in its battle against Takfiri groups across the country. According to estimates by the United Nations, over 190,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil fueled by the Western-backed militants in Syria since March 2011. Since November 2012, CIA operatives and US Special Operations forces have been secretly providing the militants with training on the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons in a secret base in Jordan, according to several reports. Analysts believe the crisis in Syria will backfire on the West as militants are now returning to the countries they came from, including those in Europe.