Syrian government loses strategic city

29 March 2015

Arab leader call for a unified military force as Syrian civil war intensifies with government forces losing the city of Idlib to Islamist militants

  • Syrian city of Idlib captured by rebels
  • Syrian war has killed 200,000 and displaced 11 million
  • Arab leaders call for a unified Arab military force

Monitors in Syria have reported that the north-western city of Idlib has been captured by Islamists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the Ahrar al-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and Nusra Front groups had taken the city on Saturday.

It is understood that Islamist militias captured the city following four days of intense fighting and is the second major city to fall into rebel control following the seizure of Raqaa by Isis.

Idlib has been a centre point of intense fighting in recent months and is a major blow to Bashar al-Assad’s government considering its strategic location.

The Syrian civil war has entered its fifth year with an estimated 200,000 people killed since fighting began in 2011.

Syria was at the centre of talks during the Arab League summit, which took place in Egypt on 28 March.

Leaders from the Arab world met to discuss the current wave of instability in the region. With some calling for a unified Arab military force to counter the threat of extremism in the region.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said “backs calls for a unified Arab force” to confront regional security threats.

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