Syrian troops captured a key town from rebels near the Lebanese border on Tuesday, days after launching a broad offensive to retake a mountainous western region, state media and activists said.

The attack on Qara began on Friday morning in what appears to be an operation aimed at sealing off the Lebanese border and cutting rebel supply lines from the neighbouring country.

Rebel forces around Damascus take some of their supplies via the town, which lies on the main north-south highway linking the capital to government strongholds along the Mediterranean coast.