01:49 GMT07 April 2020
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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) – The Syrian army is pulling military reinforcements into the country's northwestern province of Idlib and might start a large-scale offensive there, Syrian state-run media reported, citing a military source.

    "The army yesterday pulled in significant military reinforcements to such cities in the Idlib province as Khan Sheikhoun in the south and Sinjar in the east… The armed forces are waiting for orders from the general staff and then can start the operation at any time", the source said as quoted by Syria's Al-Watan newspaper.

    The source added that the military was ready to conduct the operation not only in the vicinity of Idlib, but also in the neighbouring provinces of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia as well, which were held by the Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group, formerly known as the Nusra Front*, and other jihadist organisations.

    Last week, the head of Damascus delegation at the Astana-14 talks on Syria, Bashar Jaafari, said that the Syrian government was committed to liberating Idlib from terrorists and any foreign influence.

    President Bashar Assad announced in November that Idlib's liberation would not take much time, but firstly, the authorities wanted to give civilians the opportunity to leave the area.

    Syrian army in Idlib province. File photo
    © Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev
    Syrian army in Idlib province. File photo

    Idlib, which was designated a de-escalation zone in September 2018, remains one of the last territories outside the control of the central Syrian government.

    *Al-Nusra Front (also known as Jabhat al-Nusra, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, or al-Qaeda in Syria) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

    Syrian Arab Army, Al-Nusra Front, Idlib, Syria
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