01:50 GMT07 April 2020
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    Earlier, the Syrian armed forces confirmed that large areas in Aleppo and Idlib had been liberated from terrorists.

    The state highway linking the Syrian capital Damascus with Aleppo, which was the country's largest city before the war, is officially open to civilian traffic without restrictions, the Syrian Minister of Transport Ali Hamoud said on Saturday.

    "The Damascus-Aleppo highway is officially open to traffic, and it is at the full disposal of citizens," the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted the minister as saying.

    Earlier, Syrian troops have swept through many of the remaining militant-controlled areas in western and northwestern Aleppo province, capturing strategic areas including the towns of Anadan and Haritan, previously used by militants.

    Syrian troops have also liberated wide areas of neighbouring Idlib province in northwestern Syria in recent weeks, moving to capture the crucial M-5 highway linking Aleppo and Damascus from Nusra* terrorists.

    Russia, Turkey and Iran are the ceasefire guarantors in the conflict-affected Syria. Moreover, Russia regularly carries out humanitarian operations across the country and helps Damascus in providing safe passage for the return of Syrian refugees.

    * a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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