Syria: 300 Islamists Killed in Rescue of Troops From Idlib

Friday's Loss of Hospital Was Evacuation Operation

On Friday, it was reported that the rebels in control of the town of Jisr al-Shughur, predominantly al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, had seized the town hospital, the last site in which Syrian troops were trapped. Some 150 troops were within.

Today, Syrian state media is reporting the hospital was actually evacuated as a result of a series of airstrikes, which they claimed also killed “at least 300 insurgents” from the assorted factions in the town.

The hospital had been surrounded since the town fell weeks ago, and it was hard to believe when Friday’s stories included reports that large numbers of the troops within had managed to get out of town safely.

It would make more sense that the troops managed to flee the hospital amid covering fire, though the massive death toll is itself difficult to believe, as there had been no reports Friday of any particularly large loss of life at all around the hospital. As usual, of course, it’s impossible to confirm much of anything happening in regions controlled by factions like al-Qaeda, and all the combatants are trying to push their own narratives of what really happened.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.