Late on August 28, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resumed its ground operations in the southeastern Idlib countryside.
Pro-government sources said that SAA units were able to capture the towns of Khuwayn al-Kabir and Ard al-Zurzur as well as the Aghir hilltop following heavy clashes with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
The SAA continued its advance later, imposing control of several farms in the outskirt of the key town of al-Tamanah, west of Khuwayn al-Kabir.
A day earlier, HTS, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Wa Harid al-Muminin operations room and the Turkish-backed National Front for Liberation (NFL) launched an attack from their positions around Khuwayn al-Kabir at a Russian position near the town of Abu Dail. The attack was foiled by the SAA within a few hours.
The SAA is likely working to secure its eastern flank in southern Idlib in order to prevent more similar attacks by HTS and its allies.