Members of the so-called Free Syrian Army near the town of Bizaah, northeast of the city of al-Bab, some 30 kilometres from the Syrian city of Aleppo, on February 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – The Turkish-backed militants continued their push towards the strategic city of Saraqib on Wednesday, as their forces managed to capture more ground west of their former stronghold.

READ ALSO: Syrian Army Halts Turkish Border Offensive, Shifts to Idlib

Backed by Turkish artillery, the National Liberation Front (NLF) and their jihadist allies from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) managed to capture the town of Afis near the northwestern axis of Saraqib.

The advance by the Turkish-backed militants comes hours after their forces captured the town of Al-Salihiyah, which is located near the Aleppo-Latakia Highway (M-4).

It appears that the Turkish-backed militants will reach the outskirts of Saraqib in the coming hours if the Syrian Arab Army troops at this axis do not find a way to halt this latest push.

Over the weekend, the Syrian government announced the reopening of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5) for the first time in eight years, following the capture of all the militant-held territories along this imperative roadway.

Should the Syrian Army lose Saraqib, the militants will once again have a presence along this strategic roadway in northwestern Syria.

 

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ALSO READ  Putin, Erdogan begin high-level meeting on Idlib situation

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Dcass
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Dcass

Where is the Russian air support?

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Rhodium 10

SAA have deployed useless conscripts to protect Saraqib while elite troops are retaken small village in the south!..thats was a mistake!…Saraqib is an strategic place which control M5 Highway..while small village in the south are not important!

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Gustavo Lopez Velazquez

I would fire the SAA general at this very moment. SAA ground troops are sometimes so pathetic. Without Russia air force support, they are just ….

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Nestor Arapa

Parece que los terroristas lograron retomar y cortar la carretera M-5 al norte de Saraqib, la ausencia de la fuerza aérea Rusa en la zona no está bien, Rusia deja actuar libremente a los mercenarios de Erdogan con participación activa del ejercito Turco para esta contraofensiva….

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Danny

After paying very heart prize of thousands thousand lives, it took 8 years to Gain control of a highway — then it took less then 3 days, lost control again. What a waste – criminal dictator Assad is good for nothing.