The story comes from The Telegraph.
Syrian army retakes key town from rebels
Loyalist troops recaptured a district of southern Damascus, severing a key rebel supply route, in a major blow for the wider rebel offensive on the capital.
The town of Sbeineh is the third rebel neighbourhood to fall to government forces since the army, aided by Shia militia groups from Iraq, Iran and Lebanon, launched an offensive to retake districts weakened by a year long siege.
"The regime retook Sbeineh. This is a big loss for us," said Islam Alloush, a spokesman for Liwa al-Islam, one of the biggest rebel groups fighting in Damascus. "It brings the army closer to the rest of our strongholds in southern Damascus".
Syrian state television celebrated the win, saying the army had achieved "complete control" over Sbeineh, which had previously been a "hotbed" for militants.
News of the defeat came as the Russia offered to host talks between the main western back opposition National Coalition and President Bashar al-Assad's government, that could focus on "humanitarian issues of the country's war, the Russian foreign ministry said.
The discussions were pitched to boost the prospects of peace talks in Geneva, which had been pencilled in to begin in mid-November but which have since slipped.
Sbeineh and the surrounding suburbs had been pinned by opposition supporters as a key route through which to launch a "final" offensive on the capital. Located on the highway that leads to the Jordanian border, the area was intended to act as a funnel into the capital for weapons and fighters.
However, opposition activists told the Telegraph that, with few weapons supplies actually arriving from Jordan, the Syrian army was able to lay siege to the district, finally recapturing it in the early hours of Thursday morning.
"The Free Syrian Army held off the offensive for ten days, but they had no ammunition and eventually had to give in," said Susan Ahmed, an activist speaking from the capital.
Mr Alloush and other rebel groups have tried to play down the extent to which the defeat affects the rebel offensive on Damascus. But Sbeineh fits in a wider pattern of a weakening insurgency, as the government capitalises on the tight sieges it has imposed on rebel areas for more than a year, blocking all supplies, including food from entering.
Ms Ahmed said: "It seems things are getting worse because the FSA is in real need of some support. Not just weapons, but food: Can you imagine someone who works 24 hours a day without nutrition?"