Syria’s Foreign Ministry has said it is opening a “humanitarian corridor” for civilians to leave the rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib and northern Hama, where the army has advanced against armed fighters with fierce air and ground attacks.
The ministry, in a statement carried out by Sana news agency on Thursday, said that the corridor was opened in the village of Soran on the southern edge of the rebel-held area, which Syrian troops laid siege to a day earlier.
The corridor will be used to evacuate “civilians who want to leave areas controlled by terrorists in northern Hama and the southern countryside of Idlib” province, the statement added.
The besieged area is home to tens of thousands of civilians, as well as armed rebel fighters and Turkish troops.
Opposition fighters withdrew from a key town in Idlib on Tuesday amid a government offensive launched in late April to retake the country’s last major rebel stronghold.
The withdrawal from Khan Sheikhoun, one of the northwestern province’s largest towns that has been in rebel hands since 2014, came after days of fierce fighting between rebel factions and Russia-backed forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.