DAMASCUS, Syria – Syria's state media say government forces have retaken a Christian town north of Damascus after a week of clashes with al Qaeda-linked fighters who had recently captured key parts of it.
The state-run SANA news agency says the army "restored security and stability" to the town of Sadad early on Monday.
The town had been in opposition hands since last week, when al Qaeda-linked groups captured a checkpoint that gave them control of the western part of the town.
The fighting came as the U.N.-Arab League envoy headed to Syria for his first trip to the country in almost a year. Lakhdar Brahimi had arrived in Beirut earlier on Monday and left for Damascus.
Brahimi is trying to prepare a peace conference on Syria supposed to take place in Geneva next month.