The Syrian military shelled the last stronghold of active rebellion against President Bashar Assad Wednesday as an activist group said insurgents blew up another bridge in anticipation of a government offensive.Damascus, backed by allies Russia and Iran, has been preparing an assault to recover Idlib and adjacent areas of the northwest, and resumed airstrikes Tuesday after weeks of lull.
Idlib’s fate now appears likely to rest on the results of Friday’s Tehran summit between the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran – a meeting that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov Wednesday said would make the situation “clearer.”
The U.N. Security Council will also discuss the crisis in Idlib Friday.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday’s airstrikes had only targeted militants and not struck populated areas. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes had killed 13 civilians but no fighters.