On March 7, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) liberated two towns in the southern Idlib countryside in what appears to be a limited ground attack.
According to several sources, army troops advanced in the region in the afternoon, imposing control of Marat Makhus and Burayj. No heavy clashes were reported.
Some opposition activist claimed that the two towns, which are located northwest of the town of Kafr Nabl, were a “no-man land.” However, other activists confirmed that the militants were forced to retreat from the towns following intense shelling by the SAA.
The army’s ground attack may have been a response to the recent ceasefire violations by the remaining militants in Greater Idlib. The militants violated the ceasefire six times on March 6. On March 7, more violations were reported in southeast Idlib and northwest Aleppo.
Earlier, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) rejected the recent Russian-Turkish agreement on Greater Idlib. The terrorist group, which is the biggest in the region, vowed to fight against the SAA and its allies.
The SAA will not likely advance any further in southern Idlib as for now. Nevertheless, the army could launch a fresh large-scale military operation in the region if Turkish-backed militants went on with their provocations.