At least 45 foreign-backed militants have been killed in a missile attack in Syria’s embattled province of Idlib, says a UK-based monitor.
According to a statement by the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the missiles hit “a meeting held by the leaders of Hurras al-Deen, Ansar al-Tawhid and other allied groups inside a training camp” near Idlib city in Syria’s northwest on Saturday.
It was not yet clear who had been behind the attack, or whether the missiles were launched from fighter jets or positions on the ground.
Large parts of Idlib province, home to three million people, and parts of neighboring Hama province constitute the last major militant stronghold in Syria. The Idlib-based militants regularly conduct attacks against Syrian troops, Russia’s bases and civilian districts.
The government troops, supported by Russian airstrikes, are resolute to liberate the province from the grips of militants, who have practically taken the civilians hostage.
Earlier this month, the Syrian government troops announced the start of an offensive against militants in Idlib after those positioned in the de-escalation zone failed to honor a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey and continued to target civilian neighborhoods.
The missile attack came hours after the Syrian government started a Russian-backed unilateral ceasefire in the de-escalation zone of the flash-point province. However, Damascus said the Syrian army reserves the right to respond to any violation by the Takfiri terrorists.
The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria had earlier announced the ceasefire in a statement released on Friday.
Moscow, a key ally of Damascus, launched its military campaign against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group and other terror outfits in the Arab country in September 2015 at the Damascus government’s request. Russia's airstrikes have significantly helped the Syrian forces deal heavy blows to foreign-backed militants operating in the Arab country since 2011.
The Syrian army has opened a humanitarian corridor in Idlib and Hama for the safe exit of civilians fleeing violence terrorists.