DAMASCUS, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian government forces have become close to lay a siege on rebels in 1,200 square km in the countrysides of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo provinces in northern Syria, a monitor group reported on Saturday.
The Syrian forces are advancing in the southeastern countryside of Aleppo province in northern Syria toward the key Abu al-Duhur Air Base in the southeastern countryside of Idlib province in northwestern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The army is only 6 km from reaching the base from Aleppo, and when they reach the base, an area of 1,200 square km in the adjoining countrysides of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo will be under the army siege.
The observatory said the army forces have captured 120 towns in the southern countryside of Aleppo and Idlib since unleashing their offensive almost 20 days ago against the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee (LLC), otherwise known as the Nusra Front.
A day earlier, the army foiled a major offensive by the rebels against military positions in the southern countryside of Idib.
The military campaign in the countrysides of Aleppo, Idlib, and Hama aims to eliminate the threat of the al-Qaida-linked groups in that key area in northern Syria, following the near-defeat of the Islamic State (IS), which lost its major strongholds in Syria late last year to the Syrian army and the Kurdish-led forces.