On Friday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri visited frontlines in the southwestern Aleppo countryside, according to the Iranian IRNA news agency. The sources reported that Maj. Gen. Baqeri said that terrorist groups are taking their last breaths in Syria.
The Iranian Tasnim news agency said that Maj. Gen. Baqeri met with Iranian military advisers, and the “resistance front forces” during his visit. According to Tasnim Maj. Gen. Baqeri described the coordination among the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the resistance forces as “exemplary”.
“Thanks God…, we are witnessing remarkable successes of the resistance front and the shrine defenders against the terrorist groups,” Maj. Gen. Baqeri said while addressing soldiers and officers on a frontline in Aleppo, according to Tansim.
Syrian opposition activists said that the aim of the visit is to prepare for post-ISIS military operations against the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS; formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in Aleppo and Idlib governorates.
The Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah and Iranian-backed armed groups will likely launch a wide-scale military operation to break the HTS siege on al-Fu’ah and Kafriya towns in the eastern Idlib countryside, according to pro-government sources. Another military operation to capture Aleppo-Hama highway might be launched by the SAA and the Tigers Forces after ISIS is defeated.
Maj. Gen. Baqeri visit to the Aleppo came hours only after an HTS-affiliated group attacked an air defense base of the SAA in the southwestern Aleppo countryside, according to opposition sources. However, the SAA repelled the attack, and targeted several positions of HTS in the area.