Regime forces mass in northwest Syria: monitor

Syrian govt forces advance south of Idlib - General news - ANSAMed

Syria declares liberation of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib, towns in Hama province

On Wednesday, government forces took control of the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib province.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - a label used by the YPG/PKK terrorist group - have begun withdrawing in northeast Syria and demolished their military fortifications, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said Friday.

The Syrian army said on Friday that it had seized control of a handful of towns and their environs in south Idlib and northern Hama, including Khan Sheikhoun, Kfar Zita and Morek.

On Saturday, loyalist fighters gathered north of Khan Sheikhun, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. On their arrival at the areas, the army found them to be "deserted" following the withdrawal of opposition forces prior to its entry.

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President Assad's military - backed by Russian warplanes - has been waging a harsh campaign against an array of rebel factions in Syria's bloody conflict.

"They discussed the issues of Russian-Turkish cooperation in the context of stabilisation of the de-escalation zone", a Kremlin statement said.

"Regime forces are conducting activities around our observation post", he said, adding that the issue was being discussed with Damascus allies Russian Federation and Iran.

After eight years of civil war, the militant-run region of Idlib on the Turkish border is one of the last to escape the Syrian government's control.

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Heavy strikes continued to hit the south of Idlib province, including around Maarat al-Numan, a city that has been a sanctuary for families fleeing former rebel areas around the country.

Hours later, the Turkish presidency announced that Erdogan will visit Moscow on Tuesday to meet with Putin. They then launched the siege on rebel-held towns and villages in the northern province, adjoining Hama.

A number of health and humanitarian facilities in the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib that receive German funding have been deliberately attacked during the Damascus government's recent offensive, two German ministries have said.

A further 400,000 have been forced to flee their homes, according to the United Nations.

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Relations between Turkey and Syria have deteriorated sharply since Syria's crisis began in 2011, with Damascus accusing Ankara of undermining its security by allowing thousands of foreign fighters to come battle the Syrian army.

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