Late on February 6, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) repelled a large-scale attack on its newly-established positions in the southern Idlib countryside.
Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its Turkish-backed allies launched the large attack in the afternoon. Opposition sources claimed that the Turkish military’s artillery provided the militants with support. However, this is yet to be verified.
Muraselon, a pro-government outlet, said that the SAA maintained all of its positions in the towns of Dadik and Nayrab, the main targets of the failed attack. A military source told the news outlet that dozens of militants were killed during the clashes.
Syrian and Russian warplanes reportedly chased the militants withdrawing from the battlefield, targeting them as well as their equipment.
HTS and its allies launched attack a few hours after losing Saraqib city. The attack was likely an attempt to absorb the anger of their supporters after their repeated defeats.
The SAA will most likely resume its advance along the M5 highway in the upcoming few hours. The army’s next target is likely the town of al-Eis in southwest Aleppo. The army could also advance towards the town of Sarmin to reach the southern entrance of Idlib city.