The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured on December 21 the towns of al-Sayyadi, Mudayisat and the key hilltop of Tell Damm in the southeastern Idlib countryside.
According to pro-government sources, the two towns and the hilltop were secured following hours of heavy clashes with al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
Tell Damm is one of the most important heights in southeast Idlib. The hilltop oversees the main road leading to the town of al-Surman, which is hosting a Turkish military observation post.
In the early morning, the SAA captured the towns of Umm Tinah and al-Ruffah in a successful night attack, that lasted for less than three hours.
SAA troops are now deployed less than 5km away from the Turkish post in al-Surman, which will likely be besieged in the upcoming few days. Earlier this year, the army besieged a similar post in the northern Hama countryside.