A group of foreign reporters on a trip to Syria organised by the Russian Defense Ministry were on Wednesday shown an elaborate network of caves in the strategic northwestern Idlib province said to have been used as a major rebel base.
The caves in Latamna were spacious enough to accommodate vehicles and could provide shelter to up to 5,000 rebels, said Syrian Army officers accompanying the group around the caves. Colonel Ali Rami said ten caves were found in total, housing an operations base and even a jail.
The caves are near the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which fell to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces last month following weeks of a massive offensive by Syrian troops backed by Russian military support.
Idlib, which lies on the border with Turkey, is the last major rebel stronghold in the country’s eight-year civil war, and Syrian troops have been on the offensive since April 30 to take control of the area.
The onslaught has provoked frictions between Russia and Turkey, which struck a de-escalation agreement for Idlib a year ago.
Check out http://rt.com
RT News: On-air livestream 24/7 (HD) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFAcqaNzNSc
Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on VK https://vk.com/rt_international
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt
Follow us on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/rttv
#RT (Russia Today) is a global #news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.