MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Russian military police units have been deployed to Syria’s Saraqib to safeguard security and ensure unimpeded movement of motor vehicles and civilians along the M4-M5 highways, the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria said on Monday.
"Taking into account the importance of safe and unimpeded movement of motor transport and civilian population along the M4-M5 highways, units of the Russian military police were deployed to the city of Saraqib from 17:00 on March 2, 2020," the center said.
Syria’s Al-Watan newspaper said earlier on Monday that the Syrian government army had regained control over Saraqib, a strategically important city located in the east of the Idlib governorate, at the intersection of the highways linking Aleppo and Damascus and Aleppo and Latakia. After the city was liberated by the Syrian army on February 5, Ankara, irritated by the Syrian government army’s success, demanded Damascus pull its forces to the positions they used to hold in late December 2019.
Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist group outlawed in Russia) and the armed opposition, backed by the Turkish army, staged attacks at this section of the frontline on February 11 and 20 to be repelled by Syrian government troops. More than 250 militants were killed.
The Syrian army was forced to retreat from Saraqib on February 28 after several days of continuous attacks by armed groups backed by covering fire from Turkish forces.