BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:42 P.M.) – Elite Syrian troops have made another cascade of major gains in the eastern countryside of Idlib province, capturing some twelve settlements over the last 12 hours en-route to a key city and its nearby airbase.

Amid what clearly appears to be a total collapse of jihadist defenses, assault units of the Syrian Arab Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division have seized from jihadist-led militias another twelve towns and villages in the eastern Idlib province near the strategic Abu Duhur area.

The latest reports from sources at the front-line identify the settlements as Al-Khuraybah, Al-‘Oja, Al-Hardanah, Al-Harmalah, Rabdah, Tell al-‘Oja, Karatin Shaghirah, Al-Rabi’yah Burnan, Umm Miyal, Umm Muwaylat al-Shamali, Zafar and Zabool.

The latest advance – which began on the night of Monday to Tuesday – shows that the Syrian Army most likely aims to encircle the city and airbase of Abu Duhur instead of attacking both places directly. This is most likely being done to encourage militants to withdraw from the highly strategic Abu Duhur area without putting up any fight.

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