Syrian forces advances in Idlib, 61 fighters killed

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Syrian regime’s forces resumed Sunday a locality in northwestern Syria, their first territorial gain in the province of Idleb, where the fighting killed about 60 people, according to an NGO.

Meanwhile, Russian anti-aircraft missiles were fired in the early evening against drones from the jihadist-dominated stronghold above the Russian military base of Hmeimim in the neighboring province of Latakia, the Syrian Observatory said. human rights (OSDH) and Syrian television.

The province of Idleb, in the north-west of the country at war, and several adjacent localities also in the hands of jihadists and some rebel groups in the neighboring provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Latakia, have been targeted for more than three months. almost daily aerial and artillery bombardments of the regime and its Russian ally.

According to Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the OSDH, “regime forces resumed at dawn the locality of Al-Habit in southern Idleb after deadly fighting against the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham ( HTS, former Syrian branch of Al Qaeda) and rebel groups “.

“This is the first place taken by the regime in the province of Idleb since the beginning of the escalation” late April, he said.

Syrian official agency Sana confirmed the resumption of Al-Habit, saying that Syrian Defense Minister Ali Ayoub had gone there “at the request of President Bashar al-Assad”.

In the early evening, the OSDH reported that the regime’s forces were approaching the strategic city of Khan Sheikhoun, “the largest south of Idleb” according to Mr. Abdel Rahman.

The regime’s forces are now some nine kilometers from Khan Cheikhoun, he told AFP.

The control of Al-Habit also allows the regime to tighten the grip around the big localities of the north of the province of Hama, subjected for two days to an intensive bombardment, he added.

The bitter fighting in Idleb Sunday killed 61 people in both camps – 21 of the regime’s forces and 40 of the HTS and rebel groups, according to the OSDH. The day before, 70 fighters perished in the clashes.

Added to this are two civilians, including one child, killed in Syrian and Russian air raids on southern Idleb, according to the OSDH.

According to Syrian television, anti-aircraft missiles from the Russian Hmeimim base were activated in the evening against unidentified “gears”.

Hmeimim, considered as one of the pillars of the Russian military presence in Syria, has been the subject of several recent flyovers of drones and shootings from the jihadist stronghold, according to Moscow.

Since late April, more than 810 civilians have been killed in the violence in the Idleb region, as well as more than 1,200 jihadist and rebel fighters and more than 1,000 pro-regime forces, according to the OSDH. More than 400,000 people have been displaced, according to the UN.

After four days of truce, the regime and Russia resumed raids on Idleb on August 5, accusing jihadists and rebels of firing shells at a Russian base in western Syria.

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