Syrian Army Enters Strategic Town in Idlib after 5 Years

By Staff, Agencies

The Syrian Army forces entered the key town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province for the first time since 2014 after heavy clashes with terrorists and anti-government militants, a UK-based war monitor said.

The Syrian troops “entered the town of Khan Shaykhun for the first since they lost control of it in 2014,” according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The town serves as a major bastion for terrorists in northwestern Idlib province.

Reports say clashes are underway between the Syrian forces and Nusra Front terrorists. The army operations have focused on Nusra fortifications in Khan Shaykhun, leaving many terrorists dead or injured.

Idlib remains the only large area in the hands of foreign-backed terrorists after the Syrian army managed to wrest back control of almost all of the country’s land, undoing militants’ gains.

The government forces have gained more ground against Takfiri militants in the southern edge of Idlib in their latest offensive that was launched last week.

On Sunday, Syrian army troops and their allies established full control over Kfaridoun and Sabbaghiyah farms, which lie in an area between the towns of Madaya and Kafrsajna.

Earlier in the day, Syrian soldiers managed to regain control over Tal Kfar Idoun area, which is located west of a key highway that connects the capital Damascus with the strategic northern city of Aleppo.

They also managed to retake the village of Tel al-Nar and nearby farmland northwest of Khan Shaykhun on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

On August 5, the Syrian army declared in a statement the start of an offensive against foreign-sponsored militants in Idlib after those positioned in the de-escalation zone failed to honor a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey and continued to target civilian neighborhoods.

Military expert to ST: Liberation of Khan Sheikhoun in Idleb will be a direct military defeat for Turkish regime

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 12:07

The military and strategic expert has asserted that the liberation of Khan Sheikhoun city will tighten the noose on terrorist organizations’ strongholds in the northern countryside of Hama and it will be a direct military defeat for the Turkish occupation forces in Morek area and in the East of the city.

Retired Brigadier-General Haitham Hassoun told the Syria Times e-newspaper that the importance of Khan Sheikhoun city lies in the fact that it is the terrorists’ largest stronghold in the south of Idleb.

“The liberation of this city will lead to the recapture of the other terrorists’ strongholds in the north of Hama with less human and material cost, and it will put the southern part of Hama-Aleppo road under the supervision of Syrian army for the first time. It will also be a moral defeat for terrorist organizations on all fronts,” the expert added.

As for Turkish regime’s attempts to hinder Syrian army’s advance in Idleb battle, the retired officer made it clear that Turkey has been informed about Syrian army’s determination to liberate Idleb militarily after the failure of Turkey to abide by its obligations in Sochi talks.

“Any move by the Turkish occupation forces will be firmly confronted and this was translated into action when Turkish regime tried yesterday to send vehicles loaded with ammunition, weapons and material equipment through the Syrian-Turkish borders to the defeated terrorists in Khan Sheikhoun city,”  the military expert stressed.

He underscored that the Turkish regime can’t  hinder the Syrian army’s military operations, but it will go ahead with offering logistic support to terrorists without direct involvement in fighting with Syrian army.

“The Turkish enemy will not be involved in a direct battle with Syrian army because this will end in a major regional war,”   Retired Brigadier-General Hassoun concluded.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour    

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