The Syrian army said it was “fighting” the militias that have taken over parts of the country.
Nasr Alani, a spokesman for the Syrian army in the province of Homs, said: “The regime has been fighting all these terrorists in [the province of] Qusayr since yesterday, but unfortunately they did not manage to capture it.”
Mr Alani said the army had also fought the militias around the town of Salma in the eastern countryside of Homs, which militants seized earlier on Wednesday.
The militants are believed to have infiltrated the town from the province of Idlib and set up a foothold on the road leading to the southern front line with al-Qaeda-linked group Hezbollah.
Mr Alani said the army had been able to “control much of the area” in the Qusayr region, where they had “repelled” the rebels’ attacks.
But in the villages around Salma, he said “terrorists” had taken advantage of government reinforcements to attack residents, killing at least 12.