22 Dec 2019 22:58

Syrian troops rebuff militant attacks in Idlib, but sustain losses

MOSCOW. Dec 22 (Interfax) - Syrian governmental forces have repelled several militant attacks on its positions in the Idlib governorate, but six servicemen were killed and 13 others were injured, head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria Yury Borenkov said at a press briefing on Sunday.

"Up to 100 militants from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group [banned in Russia] at 12:40 p.m. on December 21 made an attempt at breaking through the Syrian governmental forces' defense positions toward the populated locality of Qarratin al-Kebira in the Idlib governorate. The militant attack was stopped by the Syrian Armed Forces' gunfire that resulted in substantial losses among the attackers," Borenkov said.

"Militants of illegal armed groups attempted at about 7 p.m. to attack the Syrian Armed Forces' positions using a mined armored vehicle driven by a suicide bomber north of the populated locality of Sukayat in the Idlib governorate," he said.

The governmental troops "hit and destroyed the armored vehicle; but six Syrian servicemen were killed and 13 others suffered injuries varying in severity in the attack with multiple rocket launchers by armed militant groups," Borenkov said.

"Sixty-one shell attacks have been recorded" in the Idlib de-escalation area in the past 24 hours, he added.