On April 29, warplanes of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) and the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out a series of airstrikes on positions, headquarters and ammo depots of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS; formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrain branch of al-Qaeda) and its allies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the Rastan pocket in northern Homs, according to Syrian opposition sources.
The bombardment campaign is likely the first stage of the long awaited military operation of the Syrian Army against the besieged militants in the Rastan pocket.
The Tiger Forces, which deployed several units around the pocket on April 27, are expected to led the attack. According to Syrian pro-government sources, the Tiger Forces deployed dozens of battle tanks, armored vehicles, artillery pieces and rocket launchers there on April 28.
The upcoming military operation is a result of the failed negotiation between the Damascus government and the militants in the Rastan pocket. HTS and its proxies were behind the failure of the negotiation as they had refused to surrender their weapons and to withdraw from the area.
According to local observers, the besieged militants in northern Homs will likely be defeated by the SAA and its allies if they refuse to settle the situation in the area in a peaceful way.