A few hours after launching a large-scale military operation in southeast Idlib, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) imposed control of the town of Umm Jalal.
Army units stormed the town in the late hours of December 19, under the cover of intense artillery strikes. Following two hours of clashes with al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its Turkish-backed allies, the town was fully secured.
According to pro-government sources, the SAA inflicted heavy losses on HTS and its allies. Many militants were killed and several TOW anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) launchers were reportedly destroyed.
The operation was launched following a series of provocations by HTS and its allies, which have been rejecting any peaceful initiative for more than year now.
The SAA will likely advance further in southeast Idlib in the upcoming few hours. Militants’ positions in the region appear to be poorly fortified and mostly manned by the remaining unexperienced personnel.