A Syrian army statement said government forces captured, in addition to dozens of villages, some strategic hills deep inside the heavily fortified areas once held by insurgents. It said the villages captured include former strongholds such as Kafranbel, Has, Kfar Sajneh and al-Dar al-Kabira.
On Tuesday, Syrian troops shot down a Turkish drone over Idlib, saying it was carrying out a reconnaissance mission over a town recently captured by government forces.
Turkey and Russia back rival groups in the Syrian conflict and over the past weeks Ankara sent thousands of Turkish troops to Idlib. Clashes between Turkish and Syrian troops so far this month have left 16 Turkish soldiers dead.
Shelling and airstrikes in Idlib province left at least 16 civilians dead, including students and teachers in a school in the provincial capital, also called Idlib.
A doctor in Idlib said in a video released late Tuesday that the medical conditions are deteriorating in Idlib.
“The medical situation is getting worse and worse,” said the doctor who identified himself as Ihsan Eidi. The video was released by a charity organization known as Islamic Relief Worldwide. The doctor said more than 50 hospitals and health centers have gone out of service over the past nine months as conditions worsened.