MOSCOW, May 22. /TASS/. Syrian troops thwarted three massive attacks by terrorists near Idlib on Wednesday morning, which involved up to 500 militants, seven tanks, four infantry fighting vehicles, about 30 machine gun-mounted pickup trucks and two cars filled with explosives, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
"On the morning of May 22, Syrian government forces thwarted three massive attacks on the town of Kafr Nabuda, carried out by the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group [outlawed in Russia - TASS], which involved up to 500 militants, seven tanks, four infantry fighting vehicles, about 30 machine gun-mounted pickup trucks and two explosives-filled cars driven by suicide attackers," the statement reads.
The Russian Defense Ministry added that at the same time, militants had attempted to break through the government forces’ defenses near the Al-Hayrat settlement. The attack involved more than 200 militants, four infantry fighting vehicles and four gun-mounted pickup trucks.
In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey - the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - de-escalation zones were set up in Syria in May 2017. They include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Eastern Ghouta, as well as some areas in the Daraa and al-Quneitra Provinces in southern Syria. Damascus took control of three zones in 2014, but the fourth one, covering the Idlib province and certain parts of the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, is still controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra. On May 18, Syrian government forces unilaterally ceased fire in the area but militants continue to attack their positions.