The Syrian government forces have captured the strategically important city of al Habeit in the province of Idlib, which is controlled by the rebels, reports Deutsche Welle.
"The capture of al Habeit is the most significant progress of Assad's army since the beginning of its offensive in Idlib province three months ago. More than a hundred fighters from both sides were killed in the battle for al Habeit. At the same time, the Syrian army and its allies conducted about two thousand artillery and airstrikes on the rebels," reports Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in London.
Hezbollah movement, which is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, called the al Habeit city "the gate to the southern part of Idlib province." There is another large town, Khan Shaykhun located near al Habeit.
Syrian troops started a massive offensive in the provinces of Idlib and Hama with the support of their allies (including Russia) in April this year. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reported that during this time, more than 400 thousand people were forced to leave their homes. Also, entire towns and villages were destroyed.
In late July, the UN reported that more than 100 people became the victims of airstrikes in Syria.