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Syrian army drive out jihadists as they make rapid gains

SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad expressed confidence in the army’s ability to take back all Syrian territory today after the military confirmed it had retaken control of large swathes of the north-west “in record time.”

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) said that it had driven jihadists out of Aleppo province, where they have been supported by Turkish forces supplying them with weapons and uniforms.

More than 30 villages were freed from Islamist control with Russian and Syrian forces saying that they would continue to chase armed Islamist groups “wherever they are.”

Mr Assad said that the Syrian people were “determined to liberate all Syrian territories from terrorism” as he praised the country’s armed forces for their recent successes.

But he warned that countries “hostile to the Syrian people are still trying to protect terrorists who take civilians as hostages and human shields.”

The Syrian President was clear that this cannot be allowed to continue at the expense of the life, security and the stability of the country’s citizens.  

Army spokesman General Ali Mayhoub said in a televised speech that Syrian troops were continuing their ground advances to “eradicate what is left of terrorist groups” in Syria, congratulating the soldiers for the swift advances in “record time.”

The remaining jihadists are now holed up in a small part of Idlib province, with Syrian and Russian operations also making advances there.

Hopes are raised that the nine-year war that has ravaged Syria is coming to an end, with transport Minister Ali Hammoud announcing that flights from Aleppo international airport are set to resume from tomorrow.

Thousands of residents of Aleppo took to the streets to celebrate the victory of the SAA over the jihadists.

Soldiers were seen dismantling road blocks on the main highway from Aleppo to Damascus, with security forces positioned along its route.

Syria has battled to regain control of the country which has faced threats from Turkish-backed jihadist groups alongside missile strikes from Western countries seeking to oust Mr Assad’s government.

Despite the success of the SAA, which has been supported by Russia and Iran, there remains a humanitarian crisis with at least 800,000 people believed to be internally displaced as a result of the offensive which started in December.

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