DAMASCUS, (PNA/Xinhua) — The Syrian government army on Friday regained the northern strategic town of Ariha in the countryside of northwestern Idlib province after intense battles with rebels, the state media reported.
The rebels suffered hefty losses as a result of the army’s operation in Ariha, which has been largely out of the government’s control over the past months.
The Syrian troops also secured the road that connects the mountainous area of Jisr al-Shughour with Idlib and recaptured the town of Kafr Zeiba, the report said.
The recent advance by government forces comes amid ongoing clashes at Christian-dominated town in the country’s south, according to local media.
In southern Syria, clashes continued Friday in the town of Maloula in the countryside of Damascus between the Syrian army and radical rebels from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, whose hard- line fighters stormed the Christian-dominated town on Wednesday.
The Syrian government on Friday offered a reward to anyone who hands over a “foreign terrorist” or provides tips to the police about the whereabouts of “terrorists.”
The reward which ranges between 200,000 Syrian pounds (1,000 U. S. dollars) and 500,000 (2,500 dollars), is the first such move the government undertakes during the country’s 30-month deadly conflict.