Parallel with the Turkish offensive on Kurdish-held northern Syrian region of Afrin – codenamed ‘Operation Olive Branch’ – Syrian military and militia forces are on a major offensive against Jabhat Al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda affiliate) terrorists in eastern Idlib province.
On Sunday, Russian and regional media have reported that Syrian forces have liberated Abu Duhur airport, held by the terrorist group since September 2015.
“Assault troops of the Syrian governmental forces under command of General Hassan Suhel, while advancing along the road connecting Hama and Aleppo, joined the militia units near Herbet al Ghajar and Rasm al Harmal,” the ministry was quoted by Russian state media. “Thus, they have completed encirclement of a large group of terrorist belonging to the terrorist organization Jabhat Al-Nusra in the eastern part of the Idlib Province.”
Earlier reports said the militants’ defense was broken after fierce battles, the terrorists were knocked out of seven villages located in the airfield’s vicinity. Three years earlier, Abu Duhur was the Syrian army’s last stronghold in that northwestern region. The terrorists continued the siege for six months.
Military actions against Jabhat Al-Nusra’s terrorists and their allies continues for more than a month in Syria’s north-west. Over this period, the armed forces and militia destroyed more than 600 militants.
Defense ministry said, as reported by TASS. The terrorists are reported to be armed with tanks, infantry combat vehicles, field artillery and mortars.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, during the offensive operation the Syrian troops had moved 6 kilometers north of Abu al-Duhur airfield over the past 24 hours, with 24 inhabited communities liberated from militants.
Geostrategic Media/TASS | Photo:Valery Sharifulin/TASS