Syrian gov’t forces seize town of Kafranbel, where rebellion began in 2011: report

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An anti-government demonstration in the Kafranbel town of Syria from 2014.

Syrian government forces on Tuesday captured Kafranbel, a town in Idlib province with symbolic importance since it was among the first to rebel against Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) war monitor said, according to the Ahval news website.

Syrian forces supported by Russian airstrikes, advancing on the last major rebel-held area in northwest Syria, captured Kafranbel and 30 nearby towns and villages in 48 hours, the SOHR said.

Meanwhile, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels recaptured the town of Nairab, considered a gateway to the strategic town of Saraqeb, which was seized by the Syrian army earlier this month.

The Turkish army has been providing cover with artillery fire for the rebels in their effort to capture Nairab since last week, prompting Russia to accuse Turkey of supporting militants in the region.

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