Small Wars Journal

Syrian Opposition Retakes Key Idlib Town From Government

Thu, 02/27/2020 - 9:36am

Syrian Opposition Retakes Key Idlib Town From Government – Associated Press

Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters Thursday retook a strategic northwestern town in Syria that was recently captured by government forces, and cut the highway linking the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo days after the government reopened it for the first time since 2012.

The retaking of Saraqeb, which sits on the highway, is a setback for Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces who have scored major gains in a weekslong Russian-backed campaign in the last rebel stronghold in Idlib province. Officials had hailed the reopening of the motorway, known as the M5, as a major victory in the nine-year conflict.

The government's military campaign to recapture Idlib, the last opposition-held stronghold in the country, has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe and the war's largest single wave of displacement. According to the U.N. almost 950,000 civilians have been displaced since early December, and more than 300 have been killed. Most have fled further north to safer areas near the Turkish border, overwhelming camps already crowded with refugees in cold winter weather…

Read on.