The Syrian army intensified its operations against foreign-backed militant groups, retaking a strategic hill in Qalamoun region. Syrian soldiers launched an offensive against the militants in the region on Tuesday and succeeded in taking control of the area near the town of Yabrud, located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) North of the capital Damascus, press tv reported. The advance came a day after the troops took control of the town of Sahel in Yabrud and killed a number of terrorists in the fighting. Earlier, the army had captured two other strategic hills near the town. Yabrud is the last major town held by militants in the mountainous Qalamoun region along the border with neighboring Lebanon. It has been under the control of foreign-sponsored armed groups since 2011. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. Over 130,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the unrest. According to reports, the western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.