On January 9, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, imposed fire control over the Abu Duhur airbase in eastern Idlib after capturing several key hills around it including Tell Salmou, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
The Hezbollah media wing in Syria also reported that the SAA began advancing from its positions southwest of Khanasir in the southern Aleppo countryside towards the Abu Duhur airbase and captured the villages of Huwwarin, Ramlah, Mazi’alah, Nawara, Rasm al-Shaikh and Tall Sabha.
Thus, the SAA deployed within only 10km from positions of its allies south of the Abu al-Duhur airbase. This will mean the liberation of all areas controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in northeastern Hama. The SAA had already captured several areas there including the town of Umm Myal.
Syrian pro-government sources also said that members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) are now withdrawing from Hass Mount northeast of the Abu Duhur airbase.
From its side, HTS and its allies claimed that they conducted several attacks against the SAA and recaptured several villages. However, pro-government and opposition activists confirmed that these claims are only a propaganda stunt of HTS to keep the public opinion in Idlib governorate on its side.
Due to the rapid collapse of the HTS defense, the SAA has chances to secure the whole region between the southwestern Aleppo countryside and the southeastern Idlib countryside soon.