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Friday, August 23, 2019, 18:28
Syrian army 'captures remaining rebel areas in Hama countryside'
By Xinhua
Friday, August 23, 2019, 18:28 By Xinhua

A picture taken on Aug 22, 2019 shows Turkish military vehicles passing through Maaret al-Numan in Syria's northern province of Idlib. (OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)

For the first time since 2012, the Syrian army captured rebel-held areas in the northern countryside of Hama, besieging the Turkish military point in the town of Morek, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The army captured the key towns of Al-Lataminah and Kafr Zita among other areas in northern Hama, said the Observatory.

A Turkish military point has become besieged in the town of Morek in northern Hama

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

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A Turkish military point has become besieged in the town of Morek in northern Hama, said the Observatory, speculating that Turkey may ask for a safe exit for the Turkish soldiers in that area.

It's worth noting that areas in the countryside of Hama and the adjacent Idlib province are included in the de-escalation zones' deal established by Russia and Turkey last September. 

Under the deal, Turkish observation points were set up in areas in Idlib and Hama.

However, the deal failed to materialize as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front rejected to withdraw and battles flared.

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Earlier this month, Russia and Turkey supervised a new cease-fire in the de-escalation zone but it was quick to fall apart.

The Observatory said Friday that the army has so far captured 29 areas in Idlib and Hama since early this month.

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