Syrian rebels report new gains in Idlib

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Syrian armed opposition advances in Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib province on Friday. File photo

ARA News

Damascus, Syria – On Friday, factions of the Syrian armed opposition were able to enter the city of Jisr ash-Shughur in the western countryside of Idlib province, northwestern Syria, as well as take control of several pro-regime checkpoints in Sahl al-Ghab countryside, northwest of Hama. 

Military sources in Idlib told ARA News that the “Victory Battle” on Friday aimed at expelling the Syrian regime forces from Jisr ash-Shughur, adding that the opposition fighters are still engaged in fierce battles with the regime forces in the city.

The fighting is centered in the vicinity of Sawmaa roundabout downtown, according to the rebel sources.

The opposition forces also seized a number of military checkpoints in the vicinity of the city, including the villages of Sirmaniyah and Kamb, amid the absence of Syrian regime warplanes. 

Media activist Mahmoud al-Hamwi, who accompanies opposition forces in Idlib, told ARA News that the rebels, backed by a number of Islamic faction including al-Nusra Front, were able to control a number of the regime-held checkpoints in the vicinity of the Qarmid camp, one of the major military camps of the Syrian regime in the province of Idlib.

“The opposition forces took control of four checkpoints in the vicinity of the camp near the pickle plants,” al-Hamwi reported, pointing out that heavy shelling by the rebels continue on the camp in preparation to storm it.

In the Sahl al-Ghab area, in the eastern slope of the mountains of Latakia (administratively linked to Hama), the opposition forces have also reported advances and gained control of a number of military checkpoints, killing dozens of pro-regime soldiers there.

The battles waged by the Syrian armed opposition against the regime forces in the countryside of Idlib are considered the largest since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, and are considered by observers as a turning-point in the entire country. More than 12,000 opposition fighters are participating in the military operations there, aiming at expelling regime forces from the entire province of Idlib, making it the second province totally out of the regime’s control after Raqqa –which is controlled by the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).

 

Reporting by: Mohammed Darwish

Source: ARA News

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