Russia begins to establish control over Syria's main highway

Russian military police have begun to take control of the M5 motorway in Syria, reported Al Hadath TV channel on Twitter. M5 is the country's main highway that connects Damascus with the central and northern regions.

Russian military police units have reportedly begun to deploy along the road, including in Idlib province, where fighting is underway for the control of the highway.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not yet commented on this information.

The M5 road runs through Syria. It connects Aleppo in the north with the cities of Hama, Homs and Damascus, and in the south reaches the province of Daraa and the border with Jordan. The road allows the military to quickly transfer equipment and deliver supplies. Since 2012, the highway has been under the control of the armed opposition.

The Syrian army stepped up its efforts against the militants in Idlib, where the last armed opposition groups are also located. As a result of the offensive, the Syrian government forces managed to occupy almost half of the Idlib de-escalation zone. In February, several strikes against the Syrian forces were carried out by the Turkish army, which lost a total of 12 soldiers and one civilian specialist. In response, more than 100 targets were hit by Turkey, and two Syrian helicopters were shot down by the militants in Idlib. According to a Russian military-diplomatic sources, the militants received weapons from Turkey and used them to shoot down the Syrian helicopters. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that in case of new aggression against Turkish troops, Ankara will begin full-scale bombardment of Syrian forces, and threatened to destroy any aircraft flying over Idlib.

  Russia, Syria, Idlib