Europe

Syrian troops capture rebel-held village near Damascus

  • FILE - This file frame grab from video provided on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016 by Step News Agency, a Syrian opposition media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows smoke rise from the government forces shelling on Wadi Barada, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Opposition activists and Syria's state TV said on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 that maintenance workers have arrived in the rebel-held valley near Damascus to fix the water facility there, ending a violent standoff that has dried out the capital for weeks. (Step News Agency, via AP, File)

    FILE - This file frame grab from video provided on Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016 by Step News Agency, a Syrian opposition media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows smoke rise from the government forces shelling on Wadi Barada, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Opposition activists and Syria's state TV said on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 that maintenance workers have arrived in the rebel-held valley near Damascus to fix the water facility there, ending a violent standoff that has dried out the capital for weeks. (Step News Agency, via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This file frame grab from video provided on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016 by the Wadi Barada, a Syrian opposition media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows the damaged Ain el-Fijeh water processing facility which supply the capital, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Opposition activists and Syria's state TV said on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 that maintenance workers have arrived in the rebel-held valley near Damascus to fix the water facility there, ending a violent standoff that has dried out the capital for weeks. (Wadi Barada, via AP, File)

    FILE - This file frame grab from video provided on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016 by the Wadi Barada, a Syrian opposition media outlet that is consistent with independent AP reporting, shows the damaged Ain el-Fijeh water processing facility which supply the capital, northwest of Damascus, Syria. Opposition activists and Syria's state TV said on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 that maintenance workers have arrived in the rebel-held valley near Damascus to fix the water facility there, ending a violent standoff that has dried out the capital for weeks. (Wadi Barada, via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Syrian army and an opposition activist group say government forces have captured a village near the capital Damascus that has witnessed intense clashes for weeks.

The Syrian army's Military Media says troops are now in full control of Basima after gunmen fled to two nearby villages in the Barada Valley region.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters captured Basima on Friday after heavy airstrikes and artillery shelling.

Syrian troops have been on the offensive in the Barada Valley region since Dec. 22, leading to major water cuts in Damascus. The Barada Valley is the capital's main water source.

The fighting has been ongoing in the Barada Valley region despite a cease-fire brokered by Russia and Turkey on Dec. 30.