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Syrian army enters Saraqib in Idlib region — TV

The troops launched a sweep operation in Saraqib’s residential areas after illegal armed groups had abandoned the city

MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Syrian government forces entered the town of Saraqib, the outpost of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group (banned in Russia) in the Idlib province, on Wednesday, Al Mayadeen television channel said.

According to the channel, the forces launched a sweep operation in Saraqib’s residential areas after the illegal armed units had abandoned the city.

The Syrian government forces previously encircled the enemy’s outpost from three sides, blocking its supply lines. Syria’s army command issued an ultimatum to the militants, demanding that they lay down arms or leave the city for the sake of civilians’ lives.

Saraqib is a town of strategic importance that sits at the junction of two main roads connecting Latakia and Damascus with Aleppo. The Syrian army’s control over the town could result in the defeat of the armed groups operating in the country’s north.

Idlib is the only Syrian region that has been controlled by illegal armed groups since 2012. A northern de-escalation zone was set up in Idlib in 2017 to give shelter to militants who refused to surrender arms in Eastern Ghouta and Syria’s southern regions. The Turkish army has 12 observation outposts in the province.