According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Russian forces conducted at least 30 airstrikes on Tuesday, September 4, targeting rebel-held areas in Idlib province; 17 people have reportedly been killed and at least ten others have been injured. In addition, a Kremlin official warned on Tuesday that Syrian government forces were preparing to launch a full-scale offensive on Idlib province and adjacent opposition-controlled areas. As of Tuesday evening (local time), it has not been reported when the offensive will be launched; however, escalating attacks in the area are likely in the coming hours and days.
According to local sources, the impending assault led by government forces would first target southern and western parts of opposition-controlled areas in northwestern Syria, including Jisr Al-Shughur and the Al-Ghab plain in the western reaches of opposition-held territory as well as the towns of Al-Latamenah, Khan Shaykhun, and Ma'arat Al-Nu'man in the southern part of rebel-held territory, before government forces would attempt to strike and advance on Idlib city.
The UN along with several other countries have warned that a full-scale offensive on Idlib province could result in a humanitarian crisis. An estimated 3 million people live in the area, half of which are reportedly displaced from other areas affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.
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