Syria Army Units Start Counter-Attacks against Terrorists in Northwest

Syria Army Units Start Counter-Attacks against Terrorists in Northwest
Tue Apr 19, 2016 17:55:47

Syrian army forces and allied Russian warplanes and helicopters have carried out a series of counter-offensives against militants operating in northwest.

The allied forces on Tuesday targeted militant positions in towns and villages in the volatile Idlib province while attacks also were launched on areas in Latakia, a major government stronghold which had been targeted a day earlier.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based organization which advocates militants, claimed government attacks in Idlib killed at least five people. Syria's army could not immediately be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, militants fired rockets on government-held towns and villages in Idlib, with state media saying three children, all members of one family, were killed in the assault on Kefraya, a Shia town.

The government offensive was reportedly in retaliation for the militants' allegations that Damascus has violated a truce deal reached in late February. The United Stated and Russia engineered the ceasefire in a bid to facilitate peace talks which began on April 13. The talks are expected to continue until the end of this week.

Representatives of militants in the Swiss city of Geneva, where the indirect talks are being held, asked the United Nations on Monday to put the negotiations on hold. Reports emerging from Geneva have indicated that the anti-government side is becoming increasingly irked with the way the talks are going forward. The government, on the other side, says attacks by militants are meant to give the opposition the upper hand in the negotiations.

The current truce in Syria excludes Daesh and Nusra Front, two major Takfiri groups operating in the east and north of Syria. Government forces have managed to retake some key areas from the two groups over the past few weeks.

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