Europe

Syrian troops take control of water facility from rebels

Syrian state TV and military media army say government troops have gained control of the main water source for Damascus.

The development Saturday could signal the end of a standoff in the Barada Valley that restricted the water flow to nearly 5 million residents for nearly a month. The fighting trapped tens of thousands of civilians in the rebel-held area.

The opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says government forces entered Ain el-Fijeh as part of a deal to end the fighting that continued despite a cease-fire. The deal would also mean rebels will either put down their weapons or evacuate.

The fighting was sparked by government claims that rebels poisoned the water source at Ain el-Fijeh — a claim the rebels denied.