Russia-backed Syrian forces gain ground in Idlib

WION Web Team Syria Dec 24, 2019, 07.57 AM(IST)

File photo: Idlib, Syria. Photograph:( AFP )

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According to the war monitor, over 30,000 civilians have fled from southern Idlib since the ground assault by loyalists of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime began.

Russia-backed Syrian forces gain ground after a week-long renewed assault against the rebels in Syria's Idlib.

Reports said Russian planes continued to pound positions at Idlib killing at least nine civilians. The fresh assault has led to a new wave of mass exodus, Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights observed.

According to the war monitor, over 30,000 civilians have fled from southern Idlib since the ground assault by loyalists of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime began.

The Syrian Army said it had captured several villages on Monday near Maaret al-Numan. The Syrian Observatory said regime forces had surrounded several observation posts in a bid to push through the opposition bastion.

Amid the violence, a Turkish delegation arrived in Russian on Monday for talks on Syria even as President Tayyip Erdogan openly declared that Turkey cannot handle large scale influx of refugees.

Meanwhile, UN called for "immediate de-escalation" amid escalation of  violent clashes in the area.

"The Secretary-General reminds all parties of their obligations to protect civilians and ensure freedom of movement," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.