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Five civilians killed by Russian airstrikes in Idlib

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — At least five civilians were killed on Monday in raids by Russia in northwestern Syria, in support of regime forces fighting heavy fighting against militant factions, which enabled them to advance in southern Idlib, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

With the support of Russia, regime forces have launched a massive attack in and around Idlib since December, causing the displacement of nearly 900,000 people, according to the United Nations, and the killing of more than 400 civilians, according to the Observatory. It also managed to control strategic cities and dozens of towns and villages.

The observatory reported that Damascus and its ally Moscow had launched dozens of raids on the Jabal al-Zawiyah area in southern Idlib. Russian raids have killed at least five civilians.

The raids coincided with violent battles between the regime forces and the fighting factions led by the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) in the area.

The observatory reported that “the regime forces have made progress during the past twenty-four hours by controlling a number of villages west of the city of Ma`rat al-Numan” which the regime forces seized at the end of last month. It is also located south of an international road known as “M4”, which links the coastal province of Latakia to the city of Aleppo.

According to the director of the observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, the regime forces are seeking to control a part of this road that passes in Idlib, in preparation for reopening it and ensuring the security of the surrounding areas.

For its part, the official Syrian News Agency (SANA) reported that the army units “continued their progress in the southern countryside of Idlib (…) after fighting with terrorist groups.” It reported its control of at least seven villages.

And after guaranteeing the security of the city of Aleppo this month, removing the fighters of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham and the opposition factions from their surroundings, and controlling the entire road that links the city to Damascus in the south, the regime forces will focus their operations in the Jabal Zawiya area.

In order to achieve its goal of removing the fighting factions through “M4”, the regime forces must “launch attacks on the cities of Jericho and Jisr al-Shughour,” according to Abdel-Rahman.

Analysts say the battle will not be easy because the vacancy bridge is a stronghold of the Turkistan Islamic Party, which includes the majority of Chinese fighters from the Uighur minority.

The Syrian conflict, which is nearing the completion of its ninth year, has killed more than 380,000 people, destroyed infrastructure and drained the economy, apart from the displacement and displacement of more than half of the population inside and outside the country.

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