On March 7, Syrian authorities reopened the M5 highway, which links the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the strategic highway is now, once again, open for civilian traffic. The agency released several photos showing civilian cars and buses moving on the highway in both directions.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) reopened the highway for the first time on February 14. However, Turkish-backed militants, many of them affiliated with al-Qaeda, managed to block the highway again on February 27 after capturing Saraqib city in southeast Idlib. The militants’ attack was directly supported by the Turkish Armed Forces.
The SAA and its allies, including the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, didn’t back down. On March 2, a large attack was launched. Saraqib city was liberated within a few hours.
The reopening of the M5 highway was the main objective of the army’s recent large-scale military operation in Greater Idlib. Turkey and its proxies, which made big efforts to keep the highway blocked, were utterly defeated.