The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is fully ready and awaiting orders to launch a large-scale ground operation against terrorist groups in Greater Idlib, the Q Street Journal reported on December 18 citing a source in the army.
According to the source, Syrian and Russian warplanes as well as the SAA artillery force have been pounding terrorists’ positions in the region for more than 24 hours.
“Army units are fully ready to launch a large-scale military operation to liberate Idlib and its countryside from the militants, and they are awaiting military orders, which only could determine when the big battle to liberate Idlib will start,” the outlet quoted the source as saying.
The source didn’t provide detailed information on the targets of the upcoming operation. However, many credible pro-government activists revealed that the operation is aimed at reopening the strategic M5 highway.
In order to achieve this goal, the SAA will have to capture the cities of Ma`arat al-Nu`man and Saraqib, the two biggest urban centers in southern Idlib, as well as dozens of villages and towns to the east of the M5.
Another obstacle that would hinder the army’s advance along the highway is the presence of five Turkish observation posts, which are located near the district of al-Rashidin in western Aleppo, the town of al-Eis in southwest Aleppo, the towns of Tell Tuqan and Surman in southeast Idlib as well as the town of Ma’arr Hitat in southern Idlib.
Turkey established these posts, and seven others, under an agreement with Russia with the aim of pushing terrorists away from front lines with the SAA. A commitment that i6s yet to be fulfilled by Ankara.
With the low efficiency of diplomatic means and the ever increasing terrorists’ attacks around Great Idlib, the SAA appears to be closer than ever to a decisive operation.
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