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Syrian army seizes pocket

Published : Saturday, 24 August, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 52

BEIRUT, Aug 23: Syrian army troops seized a pocket of territory in the northwest where they had encircled rebels and a Turkish military post on Friday, reclaiming towns they lost early in the war.
Government forces pounded the south of Idlib and nearby Hama with air and ground attacks this week, pressing an offensive that has caused a new exodus. The United Nations says the escalation since late April has killed hundreds of people.
The northwest corner is all that remains in the hands of rebel factions who have suffered a string of crushing blows across Syria in the more than eight-year war. President Bashar al-Assad has turned to the Idlib region after clawing back control of most of Syria with key help from Russia and Iran. Still, the prospect of more advances is obstructed not only by Turkey's interests near its border but also U.S. forces alongside Kurdish fighters in the northeast.     -AFP

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