Russian and Syrian forces have been holding joint training exercises in Syria’s Latakia province for the past fortnight to prepare for fighting in neighboring rebel-held Idlib, a security source said Wednesday.

“The joint Russian-Syrian training began two weeks ago in the north of Latakia province,” a government stronghold on the country’s coast, the source told AFP.

The exercises were being conducted in an area of Latakia with similar terrain to Idlib province, which is held by a coalition of rebels known as the Army of Conquest.

“In the next stage, Idlib will become the major destination and most important target of joint Russian-Syrian military operations,” the source said.

The source said Idlib was now home to the largest number of rebel movements, excluding ISIS, anywhere in the country.

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