Late on January 24, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resumed its large-scale ground operation in the southeastern part of the Greater Idlib region.
According to pro-government sources, army units stormed the town of Deir Sharqi under the cover of artillery fire. The town was fully secured within a few hours.
The army’s elite 25th Special Forces Division, previously known as the Tiger Forces, is leading the ground attack. The unit didn’t participate in a previous attack, which was repelled by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
Meanwhile, local sources are reporting heavy bombardment by the SAA on militants’ positions in the outskirt of Aleppo city. The unprecedented shelling suggest that the army may launch a ground attack there very soon.
In the last few weeks, the SAA amassed a large strike force led by the elite 4th Division in Aleppo in preparations for an attack around the city.
HTS and its allies could find their forces in a very tough position if the SAA opted to advance in southeast Idlib and southwest Aleppo simultaneously. A move that could neutralize these terrorist groups, once and for all.