BEIRUT – Syrian government forces have entered small parts of the northwestern rebel-held province of Idlib in one of their deepest incursions into the area where President Bashar Assad’s government almost has no presence.
Syrian government forces have been on the offensive toward Idlib from the central province of Hama for weeks. They broke through recently before being pushed back by insurgents.
The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said Syrian troops captured Saturday the village of Tal al-Khanazeer on the southeastern edge of Idlib.
The opposition’s Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tal al-Khanazeer was captured after intense fighting and airstrikes.
The al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee that controls large parts of Idlib issued a religious edict Friday calling for general mobilization to “deter the savage attack of the criminal” government.