TEHRAN, Jan. 22 (Press Shia Agency) – Syrian troops have begun to eliminate a 1,500-strong group of Jabhat al-Nusra militants surrounded in the Idlib province, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Monday.

“Syrian government troops have begun to eliminate a group of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization surrounded in the eastern part of the Idlib province, which has more than 1,500 militants,” the ministry said, reported TASS.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the terrorists are armed with tanks, infantry combat vehicles, field artillery and mortats.

The ministry noted that during the offensive operation the Syrian troops had moved 6 kilometers north of Abu al-Duhur airfield over the past 24 hours, with 24 inhabited communities liberated from militants.

The Syrian army and militia forces have completed the operation to encircle a large group of Jabhat al-Nusra militants on January 21. On January 10, news came that the militants had been driven out of Abu al-Duhur airfield.

Military operations against Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and their allies have been going on in Syria’s northwest for over a month now.