The Syrian government forces have carried out major operations against terrorists in the north and west of the country in response to the militants’ breaches of the de-escalation zone agreement.
The government forces targeted positions of Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in Idlib and Hama, killing many of them.
Several terrorist leaders were reportedly among those killed, media reports said Sunday.
Earlier, five civilians had been killed and over a dozen others injured as terrorists shelled a hospital in Hama.
The attacks reportedly came after the terrorists violated a de-escalation zone agreement reached following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on September 17.
The Syrian government had earlier warned that it will not “stand idly by” while terrorist groups continue committing crimes against Syrian citizens and troops, breaching the de-escalation zone deal.
Under the safe zone deal, all militants in a demilitarized zone that surrounds Idlib and also parts of the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October 17, and Takfiri groups had to withdraw by October 15.
The Syrian government’s attacks on terrorists’ positions in Idlib and Hama come in the wake of reports that members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, together with militants from the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria, are mounting chemical warheads on more than a hundred missiles in cooperation with European experts in Idlib.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants had modified some 120 missiles with toxic chemicals in a bid to strike residential targets as well as Syrian army positions in the western province of Hama and Latakia.
The sources noted that the terrorists, in cooperation with the so-called civil defense group White Helmets, have transferred the missiles from one of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham’s arms depots to another cache in Sahl al-Rouj area west of Idlib on board five ambulances.
They went on to say that the White Helmets, which has been repeatedly accused of cooperating with Takfiri terrorists and staging false-flag gas attacks, has also moved special equipment from the town of Khan Shaykhun to the region.
Speaking during a press briefing in the Russian capital Moscow on March 15, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said there were reports that the Takfiri terrorists, in coordination with the White Helmets, were establishing arms caches in the northwestern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, the western coastal province of Latakia as well as the western-central province of Hama.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone. The terrorists operating there are not stopping their provocative false-flag attacks against government forces. Since the beginning of the year, over 460 such incidents have been recorded,” Zakharova said.