As Fighting Renews, Syrian Troops Take Village and Push Toward Key Rebel-held Town

Syrian state media said Wednesday that troops captured Arbadeen, and are approaching Kfar Zeita, held by rebels since 2012

Smoke billowing above buildings during a reported air strike by pro-regime forces on Khan Sheikhun in the south of the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, August 5, 2019.
AFP

Syrian state-run media say government forces have captured a northwestern village and are getting closer to the town of Kfar Zeita, which has been held by insurgents since 2012.

The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said on Wednesday that troops captured Arbaeen the night before, following intense clashes with al-Qaida-linked militants.

>> Read more: Syria's Idlib: The hot potato the U.S., Russia and Turkey are fighting over | Analysis ■ The land of opportunity: Who gains the most out of Syria's civil war? | Analysis

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, confirmed that Arbaeen was taken, adding that "regime forces are at the gates" of Kfar Zeita.

Kfar Zeita is one of the largest towns in the northern parts of Hama province. It lies on the edge of Idlib, the last remaining major rebel stronghold in the country.

On Monday, the Syrian army announced it's resuming an offensive on the rebel-held northwest, accusing insurgents of violating the latest truce there.