Feb 25, 2020 14:22 UTC
  •  Syrian army forces push further into southern Idlib, liberate three villages

Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have succeeded to make further progress in the southern countryside area of the country’s embattled northwestern provinces of Idlib, liberating more villages from the clutches of foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that Syrian soldiers and their allies took complete control of the villages of Ma’ar Tamater and Ma’artasin on Tuesday following fierce clashes with members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, Takfiri terrorist group and their affiliates.

The report added that the clashes incurred heavy losses on the terrorists in terms of military equipment and personnel.

Syrian army units are now hunting down the remnants of terrorists, who have fled the villages towards Kafr Nabl town – a major militant stronghold in the southern part of Idlib.

Later in the day, Syrian soldiers and allied fighters from popular defense groups recaptured the village of Baarbu, and started an operation to capture remnants of terror outfits in neighboring areas.

On Monday, Syrian troopers and their allies managed to wrest full control over Tal Nar region, the villages of Sheikh Mustafa, al-Naqeer and Arinbeh as well as Kafrsajna town in Idlib’s southern countryside.

Lavrov rejects Idlib ceasefire as “capitulating before terrorists”

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed some calls for a halt to Syrian government forces’ campaign to wipe out militant groups in Idlib region.

“This is capitulating before terrorists and even a reward for their activities in violation of international treaties and numerous UN Security Council resolutions,” Lavrov told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Lavrov slammed some governments for having “a desire to justify outrageous acts committed by radical and terrorist groupings."

“Otherwise, it would be difficult to explain admonishments about the possibility of concluding peace agreements with bandits,” the top Russian diplomat said.

Separately, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement on Tuesday it was “deeply alarmed” by the situation for civilians fleeing the fighting.

“This is the worst wave of displacement we’ve seen during the Syrian conflict. Amid the harsh winter conditions in Idlib, we see people trapped, isolated and running out of ways to cope. It’s completely unacceptable,” the ICRC’s director for the Near East and West Asia, Fabrizio Carboni, said.

Carboni then called for all sides in the current Idlib fighting to “immediately” allow civilians to move to a safe area.