12:18 GMT13 June 2021
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    IDLIB, Syria (Sputnik) – Syrian government troops on 26 December liberated several villages and smaller settlements in the eastern part of the Idlib province during a large-scale counterterrorism offensive, a Sputnik correspondent reported, citing a military source.

    "The Syrian army took control of the villages of Al-Samaka, Khwein Elshaer and al-Duliam, as well as farms of Nawaf and al-Mushamis", the field source said.

    According to the source, the Syrian army will expand its control in the eastern part of the province, when the military reinforcements, located in Idlib’s Abu al-Duhur and Jarjanaz, unite "to become one front".

    On 19 December, the Syrian army started a new military operation in southeastern Idlib to clear the area of terrorists, including the Daesh* terrorist group and Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front*. Earlier in the week, the Syrian troops entered the town of Jarjanaz, which is located 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) east of Maarrat al-Numan, a major stronghold of militants in the southern part of Idlib.

    Idlib is home to an estimated 10,000 militants, according to the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team. According to Syrian President Bashar Assad, liberating Idlib is essential to putting an end to the nation's armed conflict.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) and Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra, known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham are terrorist groups banned in Russia

    counterterrorism, Village, army, settlement, Idlib, Syria
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