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August 15, 2014 AT 4:41 AM
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday, Syrian government forces have retaken most of a key Damascus suburb they have been fighting for months to recapture from rebel forces. Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the army had "control over most of Mleiha, though there are still some clashes". Elsewhere in Syria, the Observatory said Islamic State jihadists had beheaded at least nine opposition fighters on Wednesday night, after seizing several northern villages. The extremist group, which has been battling other Islamist and moderate opposition groups in large parts of Syria, took control of eight villages between the Turkish border and the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Wednesday.