Syria civil war: Russian reinforcements arrive as al-Qaeda-linked rebels crush President Assad’s army in Idlib

Russian tank landing ships, aircraft and troops were claimed to have arrived in Syria to bolster the flagging regime of Bashar al-Assad, as the last remaining Syrian army base in Idlib province fell to al-Qaeda-linked rebels after a two-year siege.

The loss of the air base to Jabhat al-Nusra was the latest in a series of setbacks for Mr Assad in Syria’s civil war, now in its fifth year. Syria’s embattled president has acknowledged the losses, saying the army has had to relinquish some areas in the north to be able better to defend core areas. The army withdrawal from the Abu Zuhour air base makes Idlib the second of Syria’s 14 provinces to fall out of Syrian army control. Earlier this year, militant groups captured the provincial capital, also called Idlib, as well as other towns.

Full article: Syria civil war: Russian reinforcements arrive as al-Qaeda-linked rebels crush President Assad’s army in Idlib (The Independent)

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