Syrian Army Captures Village Near Qusair as Assad Extends Gains

The Syrian Army retook the village of al-Buweida al-Sharqiya, north of al-Qusair, as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad extended their military gains against rebels fighting to topple the government.

The army “restored security and stability” in the village after “eliminating the last gatherings of terrorists,” the Syrian Arab News Agency said, citing an unidentified government official. The Coventry, U.K.-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported intense fighting on the outskirts of al-Buweida today.

The latest reverse for rebels fighting a two-year war to oust Assad comes after they lost the strategic city of al-Qusair this week. Government control of al-Qusair, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) southwest of Homs, secures the road from Damascus to Lebanon, cuts cross-border weapons supplies for the rebels and provides a staging ground for further offensives.

In al-Qusair, the International Committee of the Red Cross has started to evacuate victims from the fighting, Al Jazeera satellite television reported. Thousands of civilians, some of them wounded, remain trapped in the city, according to the Syrian National Council, part of the National Coalition, which is the main political opposition.

Otaibah, to the east of Damascus, fell after a 37-day battle, and the rebels have also lost the southern town of Sanamein, Aziza in the north and ground near the city of Aleppo.

Seven people were killed by a suicide car bomber attack in the al-Adawiya neighborhood in Homs, SANA reported, citing an unidentified official. At least 80,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in 2011, millions of others have been displaced and reports of human rights abuses on both sides are increasing, the United Nations said this week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Glen Carey in Riyadh at gcarey8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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