On January 28, Syrian government forces, led by the 25th Special Mission Forces Division (also known as the Tiger Forces), continued their offensive on militants’ positions in southeastern Idlib.
According to pro-government sources, army troops are now working to clear the chunk of the M5 highway from the town of Babeela (north of Maarat al-Numan) to the village of Hist, where a Turkish observation post is located.
Since the Jannuary 27 evening, the Syrian Army had liberated the villages of Mouqah, Aamoudiyah and Aamariyah. The militant stronghold of Maarat al-Numan remained besieged. Local sources say that miltiants are currently preparing to withdraw from the town.
Another hot point of the battle for Greater Idlib is western Aleppo, where the 4th Armoured Division is engaged in an intense fighting with militants. Local sources say that the Aleppo advance is a diversionary strike designed to drew attention of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham leadership from Maarat al-Numan and contain reinforcements that it can send to southeastern Idlib.