Syrian pro-government sources denied on January 31 that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had reached the outskirt of the city of Saraqib in southeast Idlib.
A day earlier, pro-government sources, including the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) and activists with close ties to the 25th Special Forces Division, reported that the army reached Saraqib after capturing the towns of Kafr Battikh, Tell Mardikh and Jawbas.
These claims were apparently inaccurate, as the SAA is still in the town of Maarrat Dibsah, that is located 7 km to the west of Saraqib.
In the early morning, the army attempted to advance towards the town of Luf, south of Saraqib. However, the attack was repelled by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
Poor weather conditions and logistical problems are likely behind the army’s slow advance towards Saraqib. These issues will likely be resolved in a matter of a few days.