Over the last couple of hours, the Syrian Air Force has unleashed a series of punishing strikes against jihadist groups across southern Idlib province as military units on the ground ready for a new assault.
With every available warplane stationed in northwest Syria being loaded up with bombs, rockets and cannons rounds and scrambled towards allocated targets, the full might of the Syrian Air Force is now very much in effect.
According to reports, Syrian warplanes have conducted strikes in the vicinity immediately north and east of the recently captured city of Al-Hobait, engaging jihadist positions, movements and supply storage sites in and around the towns of Kafr Ayn, Umm Zeytouna, Madaya, Maar Zita, Amiriya and Ash-Sheykh Mustafa.
In addition to this, insurgent gatherings and war-related assets were attacked by air force units in the cities of Khan Sheykhun and Kafr Nabl, both of which generally serve as mobilization hubs for militant groups.
The location of the Syrian Air Force strikes is by no means random. With the capture of Al-Hobait less than 12 hours ago, the military needs to both compromise any jihadist ability to mobilize for a local counter-attack and prepare the ground for an assault to expand a buffer zone around the city.