Syrian army opens humanitarian corridor in Soran

Government forces open corridor for people who want to leave rebel bastion in northwest Syria.

BEIRUT - Syrian government forces opened a corridor on Thursday for people who want to leave insurgent territory in northwest Syria, where the army has mounted air and ground attacks, state media said.

Ten of thousands of people have fled towards the Turkish border in recent days as battles raged in parts of Idlib and Hama in the northwest, the last big rebel stronghold.

After the collapse of a brief ceasefire this month, Syrian army troops, backed by Russia, have now marched into a town in Idlib province in rebel hands since 2014.

The United Nations says hundreds of people have been killed since the offensive began in late April. More than 500,000 people have been uprooted since, it says. Most escaped deeper into the rebel bastion and towards the border, while about 30,000 have fled into government territory.

"The Syrian Arab Republic announces the opening of a humanitarian corridor in the (town) of enable citizens wanting to exit," state news agency SANA said, citing a foreign ministry source.