Syrian Army sweeps militants from southeast Idlib, encircles Turkish base
The Syrian Army has effectively swept jihadist fighters from the southeastern countryside of Idlib Governorate over the course of the last five days amid a major ground operation against militant groups in the region.
In doing so, the Syrian Army has recaptured small cities such as At-Tah, and more recently Jarjanaz, en-route to towards the strategic M5 Highway and one of the largest remaining jihadist-controlled settlements in Idlib – Murrat al-Numan.
In addition to these two key settlements being liberated by government forces, another three dozen smaller towns, villages and hamlets (see map provided below) have also been wrestled back from the control of militant groups by the Syrian Army’s offensive in Idlib.
The most recent advance which has seen the liberation of Jarjanaz and the villages around it has also served to completely surround the Turkish observation post (No. 8) near the town of Surman.
As stated in an earlier report, the chances are that at some point in the coming days or weeks, Syrian Army units current present near the Turkish observation post will be replaced with Russian military police.
Overall, manpower losses for insurgent groups now exceeds 200 killed in action due to airstrikes, shellings and gunfights with the Syrian Army – this in a time span of a little over one hundred hours.
Whilst it cannot be known for sure just yet, there is a good chance the Syrian Army will capitalize on its taking of Jarjanaz by striking directly west towards the the town of Tal Menis, a move that will directly threaten Islamist forces inside the city of Murrat al-Numan.
HD map available here.