Syrian troops kill 17 militants near Israel-occupied territory

Damascus, Dec 27 (IANS) At least 17 militants have been killed over the past two days in clashes with the Syrian military in the southern province of Al-Qunaitera, Xinhua said quoting an opposition monitoring group’s report Saturday.

Three rebel leaders were among those killed during a battle waged by an array of militants groups against Syrian military posts in the countryside of Qunaitera, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground.
The battle aimed at controlling military posts in the countryside of Qunaitera, mainly three military posts in the towns of Tal al-Kurum, Mant al-Hussan, and Jaba, the Observatory said.
It said Syrian gunships Saturday dropped crude barrel bombs on the towns of Um Batneh and Mashara in Al-Qunaitera, leading to an unknown number of losses among the rebel groups.
State news agency SANA said Syrian troops dealt “heavy blows” to positions of the “terrorist” groups in the town of Mashara in Al-Qunaitera, charging that those militant groups were working in coordination with Israel.