On January 11, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces, backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces, repelled a joint attack of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) on the village of Khuwayn in the southeastern Idlib countryside and secured it according, to Syrian pro-government sources. The sources also announced that the SAA and its allies are currently repelling another attack of HTS and the FSA – on the villages of Atshan and Mushayrifah.
The Hezbollah media wing in Syria reported that the SAA killed over 21 fighters and 4 commanders of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement, HTS, Faylaq al-Sham and Jaysh al-Nasir and captured 5 others during the clashes in southeastern Idlib. The SAA also captured an MT-LB armored vehicle and a Turkish-supplied Panthera F9 armored vehicle from Faylaq al-Sham around Khuwayn village according to reports.
From its side, Syrian opposition sources said that 5 Russian attack helicopters and 8 Russian warplanes are currently targeting the positions of HTS and its allies in southeastern Idlib.
Earlier, opposition sources announced that HTS and its allies captured 15 villages between the villages of Mushayrifah and Umm Haratayn, hours only after they launched their counter attack. However, Syrian pro-government activists said that the militants’ gains were exaggerated by pro-opposition news outlets.
In the southwestern Aleppo countryside, the SAA continued its advance, and captured the villages of Umm al-Amad and Umm Khan southwest of Khanasir, according to the Hezbollah media wing. So, the SAA forces are now only 7km away from reaching their allies the southwestern Aleppo.
The SAA advance in southwestern Aleppo will strengthen its positions south of the Abu Duhur airbase in eastern Idlib and may force HTS to withdraw from all of its positions north and northeast of the airbase.