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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

When the Guns Speak: Terrorists Retreat, Syrian Army Closes in on Idlib

Sputnik News

08:55 19.02.2016(updated 09:01 19.02.2016)

The Syrian Army and the country's National Defense Force are already several kilometers away from the city of Idlib, the capital of a province that has been held by militant forces in northwestern Syria, media reports said.

The past several weeks have seen the Syrian Army and the country's National Defense Force (NDF) conduct an ongoing offensive in northwestern Syria's Idlib province, where the army has managed to liberate a whole array of strategic areas from terrorists.

Right now, the Syrian forces are deployed just several kilometers away from the city of Idlib, according to the Iranian news agency FARS.

The army's new major offensive came as the Syrian air force targeted strongholds of militant groups based near the towns of Khan Sheikhoun and Mardikh on the outskirts of Idlib.

Earlier this week, Syrian warplanes along with artillery units, pounded the militant groups' gathering centers in the Idlib province's southern areas, sources said.

In particular, the Syrian fighter jets bombed the militants' strongholds near the villages of Kafr Sajneh, al-Rakaya and al-Hamediyeh, in air strikes that left dozens of terrorists killed and many more wounded.

In separate development this week, the Syrian government forces broke through the terrorists' defense lines and gained control over the town of Kessab, one of the last terrorist strongholds in Syria's western province of Latakia.

Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting opposition factions and terrorist groups such as Daesh and the Al-Nusra Front, which are banned in Russia.

Adding to the Syrian Army's anti-terror effort is Russia's ongoing air campaign in Syria which was launched on September 30, when more than fifty Russian warplanes, including Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 jets, commenced precision airstrikes on Daesh and Al-Nusra Front targets in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In addition, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed earlier this month that advanced, super-maneuverable Su-35S multi-role fighters had begun their combat mission in Syria.


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