Syrian state media say army troops killed 175 rebels in attack n - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Syrian state media say army troops killed 175 rebels in attack near Damascus

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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - Syrian state media says the army killed 175 rebels, many of them al-Qaida-linked fighters, in an ambush near Damascus.

Syrian state news agency SANA quotes a field commander as saying most of the rebels killed in the assault belonged to the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front rebel group and several were foreign fighters from Saudi Arabia, Chechnya and Qatar. SANA says the operation dealt "a smashing blow to terrorists."

An opposition group calls the attack the heaviest loss for the Nusra Front and Islamic brigades since the start of the revolution.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the dawn ambush was carried out by the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which has been helping President Bashar Assad's regime push back rebels entrenched in the suburbs of the capital.

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