On January 19, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces, captured the village of Qaital west of Umm Salasil in southwestern Aleppo, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria.
Currently, only one village – Umm Tinah – separates the SAA in the southwestern Aleppo countryside from the Tiger Forces’ positions around the Abu Duhur airbase in the eastern Idlib countryside. Once Umm Tinah is captured by the SAA, members of ISIS and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) remaining in the northeastern Hama countryside will be besieged by the SAA and its allies from all directions.
Meanwhile, the pro-government blog al-Masdar News reported that the 128th Brigade of the Republican Guard has been redeployed from the Qalamun Mountains to the southeastern Idlib countryside in order to reinforce the Tiger Forces there.
The Republican Guard’s 128th Brigade will likely take part in the final assault on the Abu Duhur airbase that should begin once the SAA reaches the airbase from the eastern and northern directions.
From its side, HTS and its allies have not conducted any notable defensive operations against the SAA recently. This could mean that the armed groups are again preparing for another large counter-attack against the SAA and its allies in southern Idlib or Aleppo.