Syrian regime forces withdraw from parts of Saraqib city: Reports

Aerial view of the town of Saraqib. Weeks of deadly bombardment by the Syrian regime and its Russian ally left many of Saraqib's homes defaced or pounded to smithereens. (File photo: AFP)

Syrian regime forces withdrew from some neighborhoods in the Syrian city of Saraqib on Thursday after they were bombed by the Turkish observation post in the area, Kurdish Ronahi channel reported.

Pro-Turkish opposition forces then re-entered Saraqib hours after their withdrawal, according to the report.

Regime forces backed by air strikes had on Wednesday encircled and entered Saraqib, 15 km east of Idlib city, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had said in a report corroborated by witnesses.

Opposition fighters “managed to push back government forces from most of Saraqib in an attack from the northern part of the town that coincided with Turkish shelling against advancing government forces,” the Observatory said.

Russian-backed Syrian regime forces have been bombarding Saraqib, which is held by opposition forces allied to Turkey. Turkey has set up a number of observation posts in the area aimed at protecting the opposition.

The battle for the city is seen as key to opening up the way for Syrian regime forces to pressure Idlib, the opposition's final stronghold. It raises the prospect of a face-off between Turkey and Russia, who support opposing sides in the conflict, and has already triggered an exodus of civilians.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01
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