Islamist militants in the southeastern countryside of Idlib have been completely routed during the last 24 hours in the wake of a relentless multi-axis Syrian Army onslaught backed by intensive air support.
Just before midnight on Thursday until midday on Friday, the Syrian Army seized seven towns, villages and hamlets – beginning with Umm Jalal – in addition to two important hilltops in the plains area east of Murrat al-Numan city.
However, in the last 30 minutes, military sources speaking to Muraselon News confirmed that yet another three important towns to the east of Umm Jalal have been taken by the Syrian Army amid an unceasing push that is taking place both during the day and at night.
The settlements were identified as Abu Habba, Sahal and Baraysa.
The advance leaves jihadist fighters inside the heavily fortified village of Umm Tinah, specifically defended by Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (previously known as Jabat al-Nusra), in a very dangerous position and may in fact push them to withdraw.
Furthermore, capture of Abu Habba now offers the Syrian Army an opportunity to make a direct advance on the small militant-controlled city of At-Tah from the eastern direction in addition to the southern approach.
Government forces generally prefer to have a key objective surrounded from at least two axes before considering an operation to storm the location.
The speed of the Syrian Army attack, coupled with the shock of round-the-clock air and artillery support has resulted in heavy losses among the ranks of insurgents, with various sources placing the Islamist death toll at over 40 killed since the ground assault began.