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POST TIME: 15 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Regime forces advance towards key town in Syria
AFP, Beirut

Regime forces advance towards key town in Syria

Regime fighters pushed further into a jihadist-run bastion in northwest Syria yesterday, inching towards a key town after months of deadly bombardment, a monitor said.

Eight years into Syria’s civil war, the jihadist-run region of Idlib is the last major stronghold of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Air strikes and rocket fire by the regime and its ally Russia have pounded Idlib for more than three months, killing hundreds and displacing tens of thousands.

In the south of the stronghold, almost all residents of Khan Sheikhun—which lies on a key highway coveted by the regime—have left the town.

The road in question runs through Idlib, connecting government-held Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, which was retaken by loyalists from rebels in December 2016.

After a week of ground advances, Assad’s fighters were just a few kilometres away from the town on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.