Reports: Syrian troops, allied Hezbollah fighters capture more areas near border with Lebanon

An activist group and Hezbollah's TV station say that Syrian government forces and allied fighters from the Lebanese militant group have taken control from Islamic militant fighters of more areas near a Syrian border town.

Al-Manar TV says that dozens of militants were killed or wounded when Syrian troops and "their allies" on Thursday captured an area near the town of Assal al-Ward.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says intense shelling and airstrikes in the area caused casualties on both sides.

The fighting comes amid expectations of a wide Syrian government and Hezbollah offensive in the Qalamoun mountainous region across the border from Lebanon against the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's branch in Syria, and the Islamic State group.

Hezbollah fighters captured a border village there this week.