The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) eliminated an elite unit of al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Tawhid, while the SAA was repelling a large-scale attack on its positions in southern Idlib on February 6.
According to opposition activists, the unit consisted of eight militants led by a prominent field commander known as Obada Abu Jafar. None of them survived the clashes with the Syrian military.
Ansar al-Tawhid played a key role in the attack that was led by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), another al-Qaeda-affiliated group. The attack targeted the towns of Dadik and Nayrab northwest of Saraqib city.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) repelled the large attack within a few hours, killing dozens of militants and destroying their equipment. Moreover, Syrian and Russian warplanes chased the militants who fled toward Idlib city.
HTS and its allies launch such attacks to drain the army resources and slow down its advance. However, in most cases they end up sustaining heavy losses or even withdrawing from key areas.