Up to 40 Syrian soldiers have been killed and 80 others wounded in a multi-pronged attack by militants in the northwestern province of Idlib.
Syria’s official news agency SANA cited a military source as saying that militants launched “fierce attacks with large numbers” on the country’s army positions in the northwestern province early on Thursday.
SANA said the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, launched the attacks with the use of various types of weapons, including booby-trapped vehicles, to break through some of the army’s positions in the areas of al-Samaka and al-Tah in Idlib.
The agency added that the Syrian army units redeployed and stopped the attackers from further advancing.
Clashes were still ongoing between the army and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists along the lines of confrontation, according to SANA.
On Wednesday, the Syrian army units had responded to earlier attacks by the terrorist group on several areas in Idlib, inflicting heavy losses on them in terms of the personnel and equipment.
On August 5 last year, the Syrian army announced the start of an offensive against foreign-sponsored militants in Idlib — the last major stronghold of militants in Syria — after they failed to honor a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey and continued to target civilian neighborhoods.
Under an agreement reached in Sochi, Russia, in 2018, all militants in the demilitarized zone that surrounds Idlib and also parts of the provinces of Aleppo and Hama had been supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 15 that year.
Syrian authorities have opened three humanitarian corridors for civilians from areas controlled by foreign-sponsored militants in the northwestern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib to leave and move to government-controlled parts of the country.
Foreign-backed militancy, supported by the United States and many of its Western and regional allies, erupted in Syria in 2011. The terrorists overran large swathes of Syria’s territory before being swept out by government forces and allies.