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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Syrian troops take full control of strategic town near Idlib

Iran Press TV

Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:46AM

The Syrian Army has taken full control of Khan Shaykhun, a strategic town in northwestern Syria and one of the last strongholds of foreign-backed terrorists, for the first time since 2014, a war monitor confirmed.

The government forces took the helm on Wednesday, surrounding Turkish forces at a nearby observation post, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced.

Syrian "forces took full control of the town of Khan Shaykhun and are currently clearing it of mines," the war monitor's chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

He said fighters allied with the Syrian army have now "surrounded an area stretching from the south of Khan Shaykhun into northern Hama province, cutting off all roads out" for Turkish troops in the nearby town of Morek.

According to the Observatory, 21 anti-government militants, including 18 Takfiri terrorists were killed in Wednesday's clashes, along with 10 army troops or allied fighters.

The Wednesday victory came after several days of heavy clashes between the Army and the Takfiri terrorists who control the Idlib region, which sits on the Turkish border and is the last major stronghold of anti-government militants.

Since January, the region has been administered by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, which is led by Takfiris from Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Earlier on Tuesday, many of the anti-government militants withdrew from Khan Shaykhun as well as their last bastion in the nearby province of Hama, as government forces made more gains in the northwest, the UK-based Observatory said.

The withdrawal came after Syrian army troops and their allied fighters managed to enter Khan Shaykhun, which had been occupied by foreign-backed terrorists since 2014.

Syria's advances near Khan Shaykhun threatened to encircle the militants in their last remaining Hama bastion, including the towns of Latamneh and Kafr Zeita.

Idlib Province and parts of adjacent Hama Province constitute the last major militant stronghold in Syria.

Syrian government forces have recently been trying to liberate the region in their push towards final victory over terrorists.

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