Syrian troops and militia forces have started to eliminate Jabhat al-Nusra militants surrounded in the eastern part of the Idlib province, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a 1500-strong group is armed with tanks, infantry combat vehicles, field artillery and mortats.
The ministry said that during the offensive operation the Syrian troops had moved 6 kilometers north of Abu al-Duhur airfield over the past 24 hours, with 24 inhabited communities liberated from militants, TASS reported.
The Syrian army and militia forces have completed the operation to encircle a large group of Jabhat al-Nusra militants on January 21. On January 10, news came that the militants had been driven out of Abu al-Duhur airfield.
Military operations against Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and their allies have been going on in Syria’s northwest for over a month now.
The editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine, Igor Korotchenko, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, recalled that Jabhat al-Nusra is one of the main military opponents of the Syrian government and the Russian Armed Forces. "Therefore, the complete destruction of this group's organized military structure will dramatically improve the situation in Syria, would deprive the terrorists' ability to effectively use available forces and means. Eventually, it will positively affect the format of the future political talks on the future of the Syrian Arab Republic," he stressed.
After the destruction of this group, according to the expert, Damascus will have to cope with all those who provide real armed resistance. "All officially declared terrorist organizations are actively engaged in provocations. A complete elimination is needed. Roughly speaking, if you join in the negotiations, you should be absolutely loyal. Those who goes against the regime with an armed resistance - must be destroyed," the editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine drew attention.
"Of course, we cannot be sure of the full stabilization of the situation in Syria even after eliminating terrorists, because the United States and other players actively intervene in the situation. But the destruction of organized armed structures would create a very good basis for political decisions take precedence over military ones," Igor Korotchenko concluded.
The deputy head of the Council of the Russian Diplomats Association, Andrey Baklanov, stressed that the international community is very carefully monitoring the events in Idlib, as this province has been one of the main battlegrounds in recent years.
"Moreover, Idlib is a platform where the opposition forces occupied almost the entire territory of the province at a certain time. And if now it is possible to completely remove the militants from Idlib, this will mean that after the first stage, that is, the liquidation the largest part of the opposition groups in the form of ISIS, the process of liberation is developing further. Which is fundamentally important. As it means that after the liquidation of the main organization that fought against the legitimate regime, the fight against terrorists will continue," the expert said.
At the same time, according to him, it is necessary to competently resolve issues in place related to a supply to the population and the strengthening of power. "When Jabhat al-Nusra will be destroyed, some temporary obscure self-government structures should not obtain power, as required by the US and some other forces. They need to return to the bosom of the administrative and political responsibility of the central Syrian government," Andrei Baklanov pointed out.