Syrian government forces have taken control of a strategic highway connecting Damascus to the coast.

The highway which passes through the mountainous area of Qalamoun is needed to extract hundreds of tons of chemicals. It stretches along the Lebanese border and hosts many military bases and outposts. The fighting in Syria has posed an obstacle to the implementation of an agreement between Damascus and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to remove the country’s chemical weapons by the end of the year. The army has cleared more areas of foreign-backed insurgents in the town of Nabk in the region. Qalamoun is a strategic region near Damascus and its full liberation will give the government forces a significant edge over militants.

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