pcloudy.png
Monday June 24th, 2019 3:44PM

Syrian ground troops capture rebel enclave

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops pushed their way into a northwestern rebel-held enclave Wednesday, clashing with insurgents and capturing a strategically located village at the southern edge, widening an offensive that had previously involved mainly aerial bombings and shelling.

The pro-government Central Military Media said the troops entered Kfar Nabudah, a rebel-held village on the southwestern edge of the enclave, igniting heavy clashes with the insurgents. The CMM said the government forces seized control of Kfar Nabuda after hours of fighting and began clearing it of land mines.

This is the most serious challenge yet to a cease-fire in the region brokered by Russia and Turkey in September.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the ground operation, which was launched with close air support. It also said government forces captured the village after clashes that killed at least nine soldiers and 18 rebels. There was no report of casualties in the pro-government media.

Rebel groups said they targeted government vehicles and detonated a car bomb.

Capturing Kfar Nabudah severs the link between the southern edge of the rebel-held enclave in Hama province with its western and eastern flanks, as well farther to the north. Activist-operated media group Enab Baladi called Kfar Nabudah the "first line of defense of Idlib."

Rebel spokesman Nabji al-Mustafa confirmed the government seized the village, adding his fighters remain on its edge. He said the new fighting has a caused a new wave of displacement from rebel-held Khan Sheikhoun town, which sits on the highway linking Aleppo and Damascus and is less than 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the east of Kfar Nabudah.

Khan Sheikhoun has come under increasing fire after Kfar Nabudah was captured, al-Mustafa said.

The latest wave of violence, which began April 30, has raised fears the government may launch a wider offensive to retake the area, home to around 3 million people. Already, over 150,000 have been displaced within the enclave, according to the U.N., mostly civilians escaping front lines.

"They entered Kfar Nabuda but the clashes continue with government forces at the edge," al-Mustafa said.

In recent days government forces have intensified their bombardment of the rebel-held areas in northwestern Syria, as a cease-fire appears to have all but collapsed. Government forces seized a village and a strategic hill on Monday.

The government appears to be trying to secure a major highway that cuts through the rebel-held enclave. The highway was to reopen before the end of 2018 following the cease-fire agreement, but it remains closed.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP World News, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Syrian ground troops capture rebel enclave
Syrian troops have pushed their way into a northwestern rebel-held enclave, clashing with insurgents and capturing a strategically located village at the southern edge
12:55PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Auschwitz Museum protests death camp images on skirts, bags
The Auschwitz Memorial and Museum has complained to an e-commerce site that was selling miniskirts, tote bags and other items printed with photos of the former Nazi German death camp where around 1.1 million people were killed during World War II
12:47PM ( 14 minutes ago )
FBI: 850 open investigations into domestic terrorism
Counterterrorism officials say the FBI has more than 850 open investigations into domestic terrorism across the country, and the threat continues to grow
12:42PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Meghan, Harry name baby son Archie Harrison
Prince Harry and Meghan have named their son Archie
12:04PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Amanda Knox to return to Italy for 1st time since acquittal
Amanda Knox says she is returning to Italy for the first time since she was convicted, but ultimately acquitted, for the murder and sexual assault of her British roommate
11:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
Italian PM sacks junior minister under probe for corruption
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has sacked a junior minister from the right-wing League party in his uneasy coalition government, who is under investigation in a corruption probe
11:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Orchestra searching for child who charmed crowd with 'wow!'
America's oldest performing arts group is looking for a child who was literally wowed by a recent classical music concert
12:50PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Auschwitz Museum protests death camp images on skirts, bags
The Auschwitz Memorial and Museum has complained to an e-commerce site that was selling miniskirts, tote bags and other items printed with photos of the former Nazi German death camp where around 1.1 million people were killed during World War II
12:47PM ( 14 minutes ago )
FBI: 850 open investigations into domestic terrorism
Counterterrorism officials say the FBI has more than 850 open investigations into domestic terrorism across the country, and the threat continues to grow
12:42PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Trump invokes 'privilege' over the full Mueller report
The House Judiciary chairman says the Trump administration's refusal to provide special counsel Robert Mueller's full Russia report to Congress presents a "constitutional crisis."
12:42PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Witness says she was forced into sex act with self-help guru
A woman has told a jury she was forced to have sex with the leader of a secretive upstate New York self-help group
12:31PM ( 30 minutes ago )