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Tunnels of Terror: Syrian Army Goes Underground to Fight Al-Qaeda Near Homs

© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the mediabankSoldiers of the Syrian Arab Army in Dahaniya, a Damascus suburb
Soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army in Dahaniya, a Damascus suburb - Sputnik International
The Syrian Army has launched another offensive against al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra forces entrenched near the city of Homs.

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Syrian Army forces opened yet another front in the vicinity of Homs as they advance on the town of Ad-Dar al-Kabira, located on the northwestern outskirts of the city.

Syrian soldiers managed to successfully repel a counterattack launched by Jabhat an-Nusra militants, seizing fortifications held by Islamists and driving the enemy back some 800 meters.

"The important part is, we’ve managed to capture a part of their tunnel network, which they used to sneak up on our frontline," Dayoub Jaffar, a serviceman with the Syrian Arab Army, told the Russian TV channel Zvezda.

The Islamist militants holding the town dug a large number of tunnels to facilitate covert troop movements and help them launch sneak attacks against government forces.

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Some of the tunnels are up to 15 meters deep and range up to 3 kilometers long. The construction of this network was apparently well planned, as the tunnels have lighting and ventilation systems.

The Syrian soldiers are now working on extending the captured tunnel network, in order to use the militants’ own fortifications against them. The army's technical specialists also managed to deploy a number of concealed CCTV cameras along the frontline, allowing the military to more efficiently track enemy troop movements.

Once Syria's third-largest city, with over a million people, 2,000-year-old Homs was considered the 'capital of Syrian revolt' and occupied by anti-government forces in 2011. Although most of the city was liberated in 2014, much of it is now in ruins.

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