World News: 12:53 GMT Thursday 29th August 2019. [Stock Market via SPi World News]
Syrian government forces pressed ahead with their military offensive in Idlib, seizing a cluster of villages on the southeastern edges of the province on Thursday as the overall civilian death toll from the campaign rose further. The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said troops captured three small villages in the area, as they continued their assault with the next target appearing to be the rebel-held town of Maaret al-Numan, which lies near the Damascus-Aleppo highway. Idlib is the Syrian opposition's final stronghold in the country, and President Bashar Assad's forces, backed by Russia, are determined to recapture it.
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