Two attempted offensives were staged to Jabhat al-Nusra (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) militants in the south of Syria’s Idlib governorate in the evening on May 22, the press service of the Russian defense ministry said on Thursday.
"Yesterday evening, terrorists staged two attempts to break through the positions of government forces near the settlements of Medan (west of Kafr Nbuda) and al-Hawsh (east of Kaft Nbuda)," the ministry said.
The attacks involded up to 200 militants, two armored infantry carriers and nine pickup trucks equipped with heavy machineguns, as follows from the ministry’s press statement, TASS reports.
The terrorists retreated in the dusk, with "more than 40 people killed, one infantry carrier and two pickup trucks destroyed," the ministry said.
Russia’s defense ministry reported on Wednesday that the Syrian government army had repelled attacks by Jabhat al-Nusra militants in the morning on May 22. The attacks involded up to 500 militants, seven tanks, four armored infantry carriers, about 30 pickup trucks armed with heavy machineguns and two cars stuffed with explosives and riven by suicide bombers.
Four de-escalation zones were established in Syria under as agreement reached by the three Syrian ceasefire guarantor nations, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey, in May 2017.
Three of them are now controlled by Damascus while the fourth one located in the Idlib governorate and partially in the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo governorates is still outside Damascus’ control, with a larger part of it being seized by Jabhat al-Nusra militants.
The Syrian government army declared unilateral ceasefire in the area from midnight on May 18 but militants never stop attempts to attack their positions.