Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Syrian Troops Capture 14 Villages in Idlib Offensive

Syrian Troops Capture 14 Villages in Idlib Offensive

He said that this is undermining efforts to reach a political solution to the war in that country.

The siege on Idlib, a large province in northwestern Syria which is dominated by al-Qaeda-linked militants and a hub for civilians, was expected following the defeat of ISIS late past year.

"If the strikes on civilian centers continue, there is the possibility of an additional 400,000 civilians trying to make their way to the Turkish border".

The Syrian army lost it to insurgents in 2015, when it became the only province under full opposition control.

Ajnad al-Qawqaz group includes hundreds of Caucasian fighters from central Asia and is battling alongside the Tahrir al-Sham Front against regime forces in Idlib's southern province.

On Tuesday evening, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the UN Security Council in protest of the airstrike on a Syrian military base, which the country alleges was carried out by Israel.

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Another 24 civilians were killed in airstrikes on residential areas in multiple towns and villages throughout the province, sources from the Syrian Civil Defense known as the White Helmets said.

In other footage, residents are heard screaming as they try to escape heavily damaged buildings, and the injured are seen being laid on stretchers and loaded into the back of vans to be taken away for treatment.

Another pocket where rebels are still holding out however is Eastern Ghouta, a semi-rural area east of the capital Damascus that is home to some 400,000 people.

The United Nations said the civilians newly displaced by the fighting in Idlib were in a "dire" situation.

In the first attack, Israeli jets launched several missiles that crossed Lebanese airspace towards their target in Al Qutayfah, in the province of Damascus, the statement said.

Half of the killed in the airstrikes that targeted the countryside of Idlib were children and women, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, accusing Russian and Syrian warplanes of carrying out the airstrikes.

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