BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has kicked off the second phase of their Idlib offensive this evening after reports of their troops getting in position for the attack.
Led by the 25th Special Mission Forces (formerly Tiger Forces), the Syrian Arab Army began the attack by the storming the jihadist defenses at the Umm Al-Jalil axis in southeastern Idlib.
Thus far, no gains have been reported by the Syrian Arab Army; however, heavy clashes are ongoing between the Syrian Army and jihadist rebels.
Earlier this week, the Syrian Arab Army sent a large number of reinforcements from the 7th Division and 25th Special Mission Forces to southeastern Idlib.
These reinforcements, coupled with the increased airstrikes from the Syrian and Russian air forces, further confirmed the reports that the military was preparing to kickoff this long-awaited operation.
According to a military source near the front-lines, the primary objective of this operation is to capture the remaining towns and villages south of Ma’arat Al-Nu’man.
By doing so, the Syrian Army will control a large part of the strategic Hama-Idlib Highway and an important part of the Jabal Al-Zawiya region.
It should be noted that the jihadist rebels themselves have been aware of this operation, as they have sent reinforcements from Latakia and other parts of northwestern Syria to this front.