Activist group says Syrian troops have taken full control of strategic town, reopen highway

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An activist group says Syrian troops have taken full control of a town near a highway linking the capital Damascus with the Jordanian border, a new advance in its campaign to drive rebels from the country's south.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Monday that government forces retook all off Khirbet Ghazaleh on Sunday, after days of heavy fighting. He says rebel fighters withdrew.

Syrian state TV had reported late last week that troops secured the highway between Damascus and the southern town of Daraa, near the Jordanian border. Abdul-Rahman says the highway only reopened Sunday, after troops took full control of the area.

The capture of Khirbet Ghazaleh is one of several recent battlefield gains by the regime of President Bashar Assad.