The Syrian army declared on Wednesday that it has recaptured a key rebel-held city in Idlib province.
The army recaptured the city of Maarat al-Numan, along with several other villages and towns in the province, Xinhua news agency reported.
It stormed the city on Tuesday before declaring it fully recaptured on Wednesday morning.
The army added that the fight will continue until liberating all Syrian areas from terrorist groups.
Capturing Maarat al-Numan is a key step towards securing the Hama-Aleppo road as part of an agreement reached in Russia in 2018 that aims to secure the official road to Aleppo, which extends all the way south to the capital Damascus.
Since the Hama-Aleppo road is under rebel control, people have travelled to Aleppo through another extension of the road.
The army is now prioritizing the recapture of the entire road between Hama and Aleppo, which will enable the travel movement to return to its pre-war time from Damascus in the south to Aleppo in the north without rerouting to other roads.