BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:15 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army has scored an important advance against Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the Beit Jinn valley region of western Damascus province, reaching the gates of a key town as a result and inflicting notable losses on jihadist ranks.

According to Syrian military sources, army forces operating in the Beit Jinn valley achieved a major breakthrough in militant lines on Friday, capturing a large hilltop farming area called Al-Hanakir south of the strategic jihadist-held town of Mazaraat Beit Jinn.

The advance was made after no less than 48 hours of unrelenting clashes between Syrian army-led forces and jihadist militants of the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) terrorist group.

In the process of capturing the Al-Hanakir area, the Syrian Army destroyed two jihadist pickups armed with heavy machine guns and killed 6 enemy fighters as well as wounding another ten.

By this advance, Syrian army-led forces have essentially reached the gates of Mazaraat Beit Jinn, but even more importantly have put themselves in a position to rain down fire on rebel positions within town with their machine guns and mortars.

Syrian troops are expected to storm the town at any moment.

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