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Opposition helpless to stop regime advances in Idlib

The Syrian regime's progress in Idlib and control of the key city of Saraqeb on the Aleppo-Damascus highway have marked a turning point in its fight against the Turkish-backed opposition.
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ALEPPO — On Feb. 6, Syrian regime forces and their Russian-backed militia allies took control of the city of Saraqeb, in the east of Idlib province. It marked a turning point in the military operations against the Syrian opposition in northwestern Syria, as the city is located at the intersection of the strategic M5 (that connects Aleppo to Damascus) and M4 (which connects Aleppo to Latakia) highways — top objectives of the regime.

The opposition’s swift loss of Saraqeb came as a shock for the opposition circles. The regime forces had taken over several villages in the city's countryside along with the city of Maaret al-Numan in southern Idlib on Jan. 28. During the month of December, the opposition lost dozens of villages in the countryside surrounding Maaret al-Numan, forcing thousands to flee their towns due to shelling and fighting.

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