The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued its advance in southeast Idlib, penetrating militants’ defenses and capturing several new towns late on January 24.
Pro-government sources said that the army captured the towns of Deir Gharbi, Tqana and Ma’ar Shimmareen following clashes with al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies. Syrian and Russian warplanes provided army troops with close air support.
In another direction, to the west of Abu Duhur Air Base, the army advanced, allegedly imposing control of the towns of Abu Jurif and Kursiyan.
A few hours ago, the SAA resumed its large-scale ground operation in southeast Idlib. In the first hours of the attack, the army captured Deir Sharqi.
HTS and its allies reportedly sustained heavy losses while attempting to stop army forces, which are spearheaded by the 25th Special Forces Division. The elite unit was previously known as the Tiger Forces.
Now, several local sources are reporting heavy clashes west of Aleppo’s city center. Government sources speculate that the SAA may kick off a ground operation in the region there.