Moderate opposition forces on Monday took a key village in northern Syria after clashes with the Assad regime and its allies in the region.
Moderate forces took the village of al-Nayrab in Saraqib – a gateway into the embattled Idlib province – after an operation that started on midday against Iranian-backed terrorist groups, regime forces, and Russian warplanes.
Regime forces withdrew from the village with many casualties.
The city was an opposition stronghold, and it occupies a strategic location on the junction between the M5 highway which links Damascus to Aleppo and the M4 highway which connects Aleppo to Latakia.
Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN figures.
Idlib falls within a de-escalation zone laid out in a deal between Turkey and Russia in late 2018. The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the territory where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
The de-escalation zone is currently home to about four million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces throughout the war-torn country.
Some one million Idlib refugees have moved towards the nearby Turkish border in recent months, fleeing attacks by the Assad regime and its allies, and producing a desperate humanitarian situation.
Turkey has called for an immediate halt to the attacks on Idlib, and for the cease-fire to be followed, warning that if the attacks do not stop Turkey will act.
* Writing by Dilara Hamit in AnkaraAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.