Syria says it has totally liberated the strategic military airbase of Abu al-Duhur in the northwestern province of Idlib, wresting full control over the key airbase after flushing out militants from the area.
“After a string of special operations, units from our armed forces in coordination with allied fighters succeeded in their military operation and took control of the Abu Duhur military airport in Idlib province,” read a statement released by the Syrian Army on Sunday.
The important airbase was seized by militant outfits on September 2015, some three years after foreign-backed militants laid siege to it.
“Engineering units are now dismantling and clearing mines, explosives, and bombs planted by terrorists in the area,” the statement further said.
As they further press ahead with their offensive in multiple fronts against militant groups, Syrian ground forces, backed by aerial cover from the air force, also managed to recapture several villages following heavy clashes with the terrorists of al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri group, previously known as al-Nusra Front.
Russian military on Sunday also confirmed that Syria’s government troops were at the time in full control of the airport.
To further complicate the already convoluted situation in the Arab country, Turkey launched the so-called Operation Olive Branch in the northern Syrian city of Afrin on Saturday in a bid to eliminate the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). The latter has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.
Shortly after commencement of the Turkish military intervention, Damascus “strongly condemns the brutal Turkish aggression on Afrin, which is an inseparable part of Syrian territory.”
The Syrian government also said that Ankara did not obtain any official authorization from Damascus regarding the ongoing offensive.
“Syria completely denies claims by the Turkish regime that it was informed of this military operation,” it added.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.