BEIRUT, March 16 (Reuters) - Syrian forces in Yabroud were in the final stages on Sunday of clearing out rebels holed up there for months and had begun dismantling roadside bombs laid by the militants, a military source told Reuters.
Capturing Yabroud, the last major rebel bastion near the Lebanese border north of Damascus, would help President Bashar al-Assad secure the land route linking his Mediterranean coastal stronghold with the capital Damascus, and choke off a cross-border rebel supply line from Lebanon.
Mass street protests against Assad broke out three years ago and escalated into civil war after a violent security crackdown on demonstrators.
(Reporting by Mariam Karouny and Stephen Kalin; Editing by Alison Williams)
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