Syrian regime battle jihadists for key airbase

Syrian regime battle jihadists for key airbase

Syrian regime battle jihadists for key airbase

It added that the Syrian forces have fought intense battles against the militant groups, including the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee (LLC), in both countrysides over the past few hours.

Many Syrians living in rebel-held areas see Turkey's military intervention as a bulwark against a relentless bombing campaign by Syrian and Russian airforces they blame for killing and injuring hundreds of civilians in urban areas in recent months, away from the frontlines.

Russian-backed regime forces launched an offensive at the end of 2017 on the edge of Idlib province, the last in the country still fully outside the government's control. FSA rebels and the Nusra Front had been reported to have been fighting. The attack also aims to secure the road liking the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo, Syria's largest. A Syrian military source denied this and dismissed rebel talk of a counter attack as propaganda.

Activists said the Syrian government forces' offensive and advance in Idlib has united the rebel factions to confront it, which could undermine the armed insurgency in Syria as Idlib is the major gathering point and rebel bastion in Syria, following the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) late a year ago.

But on Thursday, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its Islamist allies led a counter-attack, retaking several villages from the regime, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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"Residential areas are being hit day and night by strikes from the ground and from the air, forcing civilians to hide in basements", he said in a statement.

In the event, at least one rebel group - this being Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) - has chose to re-militarize the Al-Hass area and to this end, the last twelve hours has witnessed the jihadist faction flood southwest Aleppo with reinforcements.

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

It also said it was "outraged" by the ongoing siege in Eastern Ghouta, another rebel-held area, where the United Nations human rights chief said on Wednesday that at least 85 civilians have been killed since December 31.

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