Middle EastSyria

Syrian Troops Demine 15% of Maarat Al-Numan, Israeli Bombs Found in Idlib

Syrian army troops cleared roughly 15 percent of the Maarat Al-Numan city of mines, as it was recaptured from militants in the northwestern Idlib province earlier this week, Zein al-Abedin, the deputy commander of the military unit specializing in bomb disposal, said on Wednesday.

“Our commanders sent us here soon after the city was liberated. We work here for the second day, we check every house and every street. We continue our work”, al-Abedin told reporters, adding that the unit aimed to fully clear the city within one month.

The commander added that 75 explosive devices were found in the city, including bombs of Turkish and Israeli origin.

The Syrian armed forces captured Maarat Al-Numan earlier this week during a counteroffensive against militants in Idlib – the last stronghold of terrorists in the country.

The Syrian government has strongly condemned Turkey’s deployment of more military reinforcements to militant-held areas in the country’s embattled northern provinces of Idlib and Aleppo, emphasizing that such actions will fail to save terrorist groups that are targeting civilians in the war-ravaged Arab country.

“The Turkish regime continues its aggression against the sovereignty and integrity of Syrian lands through further deployment of forces to Idlib and its countryside as well as Aleppo countryside, targeting populated areas and some military points in a bid to save its proxies from terror outfits who have been defeated in the wake of Syrian army advances,” an unnamed official source at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates told Syria’s official news agency SANA on Tuesday.

The source added that the Damascus government categorically rejects any Turkish military presence on the Syrian territory as it constitutes a flagrant violation of international law, a blatant aggression on the Syrian sovereignty, contradicts the terms of Astana and Sochi agreements regarding the de-escalation zone in Idlib, and Turkey’s persistence to ignore its obligations and act out of law.

The diplomat then called on the international community to take necessary steps to stop Turkey’s hostile behavior and its unlimited support for terrorism in Syria and Libya.

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