Syrian troops advance in rebel-held region near capital

  • This photo provided by the Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows members of the Syrian Civil Defense group and civilians gathering to help survivors from a street attacked by airstrikes and shelling by Syrian government forces in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, Friday, March. 2, 2018. The Russia-ordered pause came after a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a nationwide 30-day cease-fire failed to take hold. While the relentless bombing has somewhat subsided in eastern Ghouta, home to around 400,000 civilians, the Syrian government’s push to squeeze the insurgents out of the region continued. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

BEIRUT — Syrian troops and allied militias have captured a number of villages and towns in a rebel-held region near the capital, in the largest advance since a wide-scale offensive began last month, state media and activists reported Sunday.

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