A Turkish military convoy carrying tanks, armored vehicles and personnel carriers heads toward southern Idlib, Tuesday, February 18, to areas near the strategic M4 highway connecting Latakia to Aleppo.
READ MORE: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the city of Aleppo, the economic center of Aleppo province, will "return stronger than ever," after Syrian forces retook complete control from rebel fighters.
In a rare televised address Monday, Assad said the military will not give up until it achieves total victory "sooner or later."
"This liberation does not mean the end of the war, and does not mean the end of the schemes, not the end of terrorism or the surrender of enemies. ... It means that we rubbed their noses in the dirt as a prelude for complete victory,” he said.
Assad said the fight to liberate all of Aleppo along with neighboring rebel-controlled Idlib province will continue, despite the "empty noise" from the North — a reference to Turkey, which borders both provinces and has backed the rebels.
Turkey has sent troops and equipment into Idlib to try to hold off the Syrian military advance, while Turkish diplomats are in Moscow for talks with Russia, Assad's biggest ally.