Syrian troops advance, militants partially leave rebel town
BEIRUT (AP) — The main insurgent group in the Syrian province of Idlib says it partially pulled out its fighters from an opposition-controlled town as government forces advanced in the area.
A statement on Tuesday from the main al-Qaida-linked faction in Syria says it’s “a redeployment” and that its fighters withdrew to the southern part of the town of Khan Sheikhoun from where they would continue to defend their territory.
The withdrawal is a significant loss for the opposition in its last major stronghold of Idlib, in northwestern Syria.
Backed by Russian air power, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces were able to enter a small part of the town overnight, according to opposition activists.
Khan Sheikhoun is a stronghold of al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the most powerful militant group in the area.