Residents in Idlib have reported heavy presence of reconnaissance drones in the skies of Jisr al-Shoghur and surrounding areas. The town has been gripped by a tense calm after heavy air bombardment carried out by forces loyal to Syrian regime. The strikes had killed 10 people including children and injured 20 others.
Air strikes have triggered panic in the area and has led to fleeing of residents to nearby areas mostly towards the Turkish border for safety. The Syrian army backed by Russian air-force has been gathering around the province and preparing for a major assault on the last rebel stronghold in the country. It is said the offensive will be officially launched after the trilateral summit between Iran, Turkey and Russia scheduled to be held at Tehran on September 07. Russia has justified the offensive on Idlib due to presence of rebels from Jabhat al-Nusra.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov has stated that Damascus could have become the capital of Islamic State had Russian forces not intervened in the conflict. In a political talk show, Lavrov stated “Idlib is the last remaining de-escalation zone where a few tens of thousands of terrorists are concentrated and headed by Jabhat al-Nusra. One of the main elements of de-escalation agreements was the commitment to pull out the moderate armed opposition from the territories controlled by terrorists, so they face what they deserve.