DAMASCUS, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The rebels in the northwestern province of Idlib have blocked the humanitarian passage designed for civilians who want to flee an anticipated Syrian military campaign in Idlib, local media reported Monday.
The corridor, which links Idlib with areas under the government-controlled areas in Aleppo province in northern Syria, has been blocked by the Turkey-backed rebels to put pressure on Damascus and Moscow to either postpone or abort an anticipated military campaign in Idlib, said the pro-government al-Watan newspaper.
According to the report, orders were given by the Turkish army to the rebel factions to deny access to civilians through the corridor, which was established recently through a Russian mediation, to government-held parts in Aleppo.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army shelled with artillery the positions of the al-Qaida-linked militants in the northern countryside of Hama province near the southern countryside of Idlib.
In the countryside of Idlib, the army also targeted the positions of the rebels in the vicinity of Jisr al-Shughour area, according to al-Watan.
The army has amassed over 5,000 soldiers in frontline areas as part of the preparations for the battle in Idlib, which is the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.
The situation in Idlib has become complicated as Iran and Russia, both are the key allies of the government in Syria, want the campaign in Idlib to start to defeat the ultra-radical rebels and move on to reconstruct Syria.
On the other hand, Turkey, which has a clout on the rebels in Idlib, wants to establish a cease-fire in Idlib and has warned of the offensive in Idlib over "humanitarian concerns."
The presidents of Turkey and Russia, which are supporting rival sides in the Syrian conflict, are set to meet Monday in the Russian city of Sochi to discuss was in Idlib.