Armed rebels in Syria on Thursday fired mortar shells at a 68-year-old footbridge in the country\'s east, and destroyed it completely, the pro-government Sham FM radio said. The shells have destroyed the Suspension Bridge of the oil-rich Deir al-Zour province in eastern Syria, the report said, giving no further details. The bridge, spanning the Euphrates River, is considered an archeological site as it was built in 1927 during the French Mandate. Meanwhile in the country\'s east, the state media reported the advancement of government troops in rebellious areas in the sprawling suburb of Ghouta. Pro-opposition web pages, at the same time, reportedly declared the commencement of the rebels\' battle in the Syrian coast, which is hometown of the Alawite minority, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, to whom the ruling elite in Syria belongs. The battle, titled \"the coast\'s volcano,\" aims to \"liberate the coast of the Alawite colonies,\" according to rebels\' claim. The al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front has started its attacks on government troops from the coastal city of Banyas, the sole coastal city of Sunni majority, and pledged to carry on with more.