On December 26, units of the Syrian Army liberated the villages of Khuwayn al-Sha’r, Judaydat Nawaf, Samkeh and Delim, as well as several nearby points in southern Idlib.
During the past few days, the speed of the Syrian Army advance in the region decreased in comparison of the first days of the operation launched on December 19. This is linked to the ongoing behind-the-scenes negotiations on the fate of Maarat al-Numan and bad weather. Taking into account reports that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies rejected a surrender proposal from Damascus, a new round of full-scale hostilities will likely take place soon.
According to pro-militant media outlets, up to 200 members of militant groups were killed or injured since December 19. At the same time, they claim even a bigger number of casualties among Syrian Army troops. Both these numbers seem to be overestimated.
Early on December 26, at least 85 Turkish military vehicles and trucks entered the Greater Idlib region in northwestern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The SOHR claimed that a part of the vehicles headed towards a Turkish observation post near the town of al-Eis in southwestern Aleppo, while the rest moved to a second observation post in the district of al-Rashidin west of Aleppo’s city center.
Earlier, on December 2, about 100 Turkish military vehicles entered Greater Idlib. They were intended for observation posts in southern Idlib and northwest Hama.
Ankara is once again intensifying its diplomatic, propaganda and even military efforts in order to rescue radical groups operating in northwestern Syria.