08:49 GMT27 February 2020
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    According to a Syrian Army official, government forces have retaken the town of Baksa with the aid of Russian air support.

    "The Syrian Army faced steep resistance from well-trained and experienced militants, who previously fought in Afghanistan and Iraq," General Samir Suleiman, political chief of the Syrian Army, told reporters.

    "However, fearing Russian airstrikes, they abandoned Baksa."

    The town, around 100 kilometers from Latakia, was captured by Nusra Front militants in the beginning of August. A Russian airstrike three days ago destroyed an arms depot in Baksa, greatly damaging the militants' capabilities.

    Suleiman also added that the bodies of approximately 40 civilians were found in the town, murdered by the terrorist group.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with the government fighting against multiple opposition factions and extremist groups, such as the Islamic State and the Nusra Front.

    Russia’s Sukhoi Su-25, Su-24M and Su-34 attack aircraft, with the support of Su-30 jets, commenced precision airstrikes against IS targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    Roughly 140 sorties have been carried out by the Russian military since the Syria campaign began.

    Earlier in October, Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad confirmed that the strikes were being carried out against armed terrorist organizations and not political opposition factions or civilians. He added that Russia’s airstrikes had destroyed 40 percent of Islamic State's infrastructure in Syria.

    On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry released video of airstrikes conducted  against the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group south of Tertiyah.



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    Baksa, Syria, Russia, Latakia
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