Syrian state media say government troops have captured western town near north-south highway

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Syrian state media say government troops have taken full control of a western town near country's main north-south highway.

The road near Nabek holds strategic value for both sides in Syria's conflict. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has considered using the highway to transport Syria's chemical weapons to the port of Latakia before they are taken out of the country for destruction.

Syrian state TV said President Bashar Assad's army took Nabek Monday morning after "a series of precise operations." Troops are still pursuing "terrorists" in the town's outskirts.

On Sunday, the army said the road has been reopened 19 days after it was closed because of the fighting. The highway is a crucial link between the capital Damascus and government strongholds along the Mediterranean coast.