Rebels withdraw from areas in Hama after troops advance

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Syrian troops
Syrian troops

SYRIAN opposition rebels, on Tuesday, withdrew from areas in the northern countryside of Hama after government forces entered a key stronghold town in north-western Syria, a monitor group said.

The key areas, the rebels have left, include Kafr Zita, Latamneh, Mork and the two villages of Lahya and Lutmeen, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

According to the watchdog, there is a Turkish military observation post in Mork, and so far, the fate of this facility is still unknown.

The withdrawal came after Syrian government forces managed to enter the key stronghold town of Khan Sheikhoun on Monday, which is the largest rebel-held town in the southern countryside of Idlib.

The head of the observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said all rebels based in the northern countryside of Hama will come under government siege when Khan Sheikhoun totally falls into the hands of the regime.

Khan Sheikhoun is located on the international M5 Aleppo-Damascus highway, which also passes through Homs.

The violence in Idlib has shattered a truce deal reached in September between Russia and Turkey, a supporter of some rebel groups, to establish a demilitarised buffer zone in the Idlib enclave.

In July, the United Nations said the government’s campaign to capture Idlib since April has displaced more than 400,000 people.

More than 900 civilians, including 235 children, have been killed since the onslaught began in late April, according to the monitor. (dpa/NAN)

– Aug. 20, 2019 @ 14:25 GMT |

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