Syrian Army declares Idlib operation will continue as forces re-mobilize for new offensive

The Syrian Army high command has announced that Syrian military forces will continue their recently halted operation against militant groups in province of Idlib and surrounding rebel-held areas (northern Hama, western Aleppo and northern Latakia).

The announcement for the resumption of the Idlib operation comes after Turkey – a guarantor of the Astana Talks – failed to get militant groups to withdraw 20 kilometers from the front-line opposite government forces in northwest Syria, this being the prerequisite for any ceasefire in the region.

Furthermore, in recent hours, it was reported by both official Syrian and Russian military sources that militants based in northwest Syria attacked the Russian-operated Hmemimim air base in Latakia province with long-range rockets.

Just days ago, the Syrian Army was on the verge of seizing the important cross-road town of Az-Zakah which would have driven a dangerous wedge between between the militant strongholds of Kafr Zita and Al-Latamaneh and put the military in a position to storm either or both cities. In the event, a ceasefire was announced and government forces halted their attack despite having total tactical and operational initiative.

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With the ceasefire now seemingly doomed, the Syrian Army may very well re-commence its ground operation on this specific axis given that militant defenses are already compromised around Az-Zakah.