Late on February 7, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) 25th Special Forces Division began advancing from its positions near Saraqib city towards its next target, the town of al-Eis.
According to pro-government sources, the unit secured the towns of Maharim, Khawari, Tall al-Nabariz, Ijaz, Rasm al-Ward and Abbad in southeast Idlib as well as the town of Huwayyir al-Eis and Makhalah in southwest Aleppo.
The 25the Special Forces Division is advancing without air cover due to bad weather conditions affecting southeast Idlib and southwest Aleppo. In spite of this, the unit is not facing any real resistance from al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
Earlier, the army’s Republican Guard and Lebanese Hezbollah reached the northern outskirt of al-Eis after capturing the towns of Zaytan and Birnah.
Army units will likely meet around al-Eis within a few days, if not hours. Once the town and its key hilltop are secured, the troops will begin working to secure the M5 highway. The strategic road links the capital, Damascus, with the city of Aleppo.