Syria accuses Turkey of supporting "terrorist groups" in Idlib

The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Monday accused Turkey of sending military support to the al-Qaida-linked groups in Idlib Province in northwestern Syria, according to the state news agency SANA.

The ministry said the Turkish army sent military gears and ammunition through the Turkish-Syrian border to help the rebels in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Idlib, where the Syrian army is closing in on the ultra-radical rebels.

Such a move proves the Turkish support to the terrorist groups, said the ministry, adding that the "aggressive behavior" of the rebels will not dissuade the Syrian army from its quest to defeat the rebels in Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.

This comes as the Syrian army is engaged in battles with the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in the Khan Shaykhun town, which is a key bastion for the terror-labeled groups in Idlib.

The army has recently advanced toward the town in a bid to capture it and secure the main Damascus-Aleppo highway in the part near Idlib.

A day earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian army entered the northwestern outskirts of Khan Shaykhun for the first time since 2014.

Idlib, as well as the northern countryside of Hama, are included in the de-escalation zones' deal that was reached between Russia and Turkey last September.

The deal, however, has largely failed despite several attempts to revive it. The latest attempt to fix the deal took place earlier this month when Turkey and Russia mediated a fresh cease-fire in Idlib, which failed quickly with the resumption of the military showdown. 

Xinhua

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