Syrian troops approaching rebel-held air base in the north

Marsha Scott
January 14, 2018

Three children were killed along with four other civilians in the village of Khan al-Sible in southern Idlib on Friday night, as Russian Federation and the regime intensify airstrikes on the rebel-held province.

"We are witnessing a clear intensification of Russia's military strategy, with systematic attacks on civilian facilities perpetrated with total disregard for global law", warns Fadel Abdul Ghany, Chairperson of the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

If it is recaptured, the airport will be "the first military base in the hands of the regime in Idlib province", said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Their major goal is to drive back the Syrian army from the strategic Abu al-Duhur air base in the southeastern countryside of Idlib, whose falling will deal a big blow to the rebels in Idlib as well as in the southern countryside of Aleppo province in northern Syria. FSA rebels and the Nusra Front had been reported to have been fighting.

In their counter-offensive Thursday, the rebels captured the towns of Khwein, Atshan Abu Omar, and Um Khalakhel from the Syrian army. The video shows a missile hitting a building as people enter.

The activists said the warplane belonged to the Syrian army.

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Fighting raged in Idlib, where a government offensive helped by Iran-backed militia has gathered pace in the last two weeks, according to rebels and a military media unit run by Lebanon's Hezbollah, which is fighting on the Syrian government side.

On Dec. 11, 2017, Putin ordered the start of a withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria, adding that the Tartus and Khmeimim bases would still be in use.

The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously insinuated the U.S. had helped.

The ministry concluded by saying that France, whose people have suffered from the terrorism, should have its diplomats take clear stances regarding terrorism.

On Wednesday, 35 soldiers were killed at the airport, said the Observatory, which relies on a network of sources on the ground in the war-torn country.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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