BEIRUT (AP) - Syrian activists and state media say President Bashar Assad's forces have captured a strategic town near Damascus after a five-week battle with rebels.
The director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul-Rahman, says government troops regained control of the town of Otaybah, east of the capital, late Wednesday.
State-run SANA news agency said Thursday that the army has "restored complete control" over Otaybah.
The town is located on a road linking Damascus to its international airport, along which rebels have been transporting weapons and other supplies from neighboring Jordan. The opposition has found strong support in the city's surrounding towns and neighborhoods since the beginning of the 2-year-old conflict.
Rebels fighting to topple Assad hope to eventually storm the capital from there.