The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) repelled on January 24 a large-scale attack on its positions in southeast Idlib, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
The state-run news agency claimed that the army recaptured the town of Samka after repelling the attack, which was allegedly launched a day earlier.
“Army units are continuing their operations on the axis of al-Tah and Abu Jurif to clear them from terrorism” the SANA’s reporter said.
According to the Russian Reconciliation Center, more than 600 militants participated in the alleged large-scale attack, which claimed the lives of at least 40 Syrian service members.
Both pro-government and opposition sources had denied the Syria and Russian claims, with local activists reporting no clashes what so ever in southeastern Idlib. No Syrian soldiers or officers were reported as being killed or injured in the region, either.
The motives behind these claims are unclear. Russia and Syria may be preparing the public opinion for a large-scale ground operation in Greater Idlib, or simply trying to draw the public attention away from other developments.
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