As of late Friday afternoon, the Syrian Army has seized another three towns in the southern countryside of Idlib province amid an ongoing operation aimed a setting the stage for a future assault on Khan Sheykhun.
Field sources in contact with Muraselon News report that the Syrian Army led by the elite Tiger Forces Division has captured the settlements of Khirbat Abdeen, Harsh Abdeen and Magher Hanteh.
By this advance, the Syrian Army has increased the size of its buffer-zone north of the city of Al-Hobait, a critical move in preparation for a future assault on Khan Sheykhun.
The reasons for this are first to secure the front north of Al-Hobait (putting a major town under government control in front of it) from any potential militant counter-attack and, second, to gain control of key high-ground for use by fire support units.
Finally it is worth noting that on Thursday afternoon, the Syrian Army took control of Madaya and the hilltop of Tal Al-Arji, northeast of Al-Hobait, again reinforcing the buffer-zone around the city - in this case, from the eastern direction.
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