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Syrian army attacks militant posts in Hama to avenge troops’ deaths

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Syrian soldier flashes the victory gestures as he sits with comrades atop a tank being transported near the northern town of Manbij, on January 12, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Syrian government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have carried out a major mop-up operation against foreign-backed Takfiri militants in the country’s west-central province of Hama to avenge troop casualties during a recent ambush by the extremists.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Monday that Syrian soldiers and their allies pounded the positions of Kata'ib al-Ezza (Brigades of Glory) terrorists in al-Lataminah town, located 39 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital city of Hama, killing a large number of the Takfiris.

Earlier, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 20 Syrian soldiers had been killed on Sunday morning, when foreign-sponsored militants attacked their positions in Hama.

The Britain-based group added that the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Tawhid terror group was behind the attack.

Later in the day, an unnamed official at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates strongly condemned the terror attack, saying it came “as a new episode in a series of the terrorist groups’ violations of the de-escalation zone agreement.”

Under a deal 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, 2018, 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 last year, and Takfiri groups had to withdraw by October 15.

The new attack is regarded as a flagrant violation of the demilitarized zone by terrorists.

Syria “will not stand idly by while such crimes continue to take place, as it will not allow the terrorists and those behind them to persist in their attacks against innocent citizens and the forces of the Syrian Arab Army,” the Syrian official stressed.

The official also reaffirmed the preparedness of the Syrian army in confronting such crimes, stressing Damascus’s right “to defend its sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and the safety of its citizens all over Syrian territory.”

Syrian army foils militant attack in Latakia

Meanwhile, Syrian army soldiers have thwarted a militant attack in the country’s western coastal province of Latakia.

SANA reported that the extremists sought to attack military positions in the northern countryside of the province, which prompted the Syrian army to respond.

A Syrian government tank is seen at a position in the village of Qart Saghir northwest of the northern town of Manbij on January 12, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Two Syrian soldiers were wounded and many terrorists killed during the hour-long gun battle.

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 wreaking havoc in the country.

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