Only two hours after launching its anticipated ground assault, the Syrian Army's new offensive to retake militant-controlled areas in the northwestern province of Idlib has already netted a key gain.
Moments ago, field sources in contact with Muraselon News confirmed that Syrian troops of the elite 25th Counter-Terrorism Division (previously called, and better known as, the Tiger Forces) seized the town of Umm Jalal in Idlib's southeastern countryside.
After a punishing round of precision strikes against jihadist positions in and around the town with support fire, special forces infantry stormed the town in a swift assault, pushing militant fighters that were not killed during the preceding barrage to retreat.
Advancing during the hours of total darkness, the well-equipped and well-trained shock troops of the Syrian Army are taking maximum advantage of night-vision weaponry which equips both their infantry and their armoured forces.
The town of Umm Jalal represents a key hub for the many back-roads that connect the various villages, hamlets and small cities located east of the strategic M5 Highway between Khan Sheykhun (under government control) and Murrat al-Numan (under Islamist control).
By capturing Umm Jalal, the Syrian Army is now in a prime position to advance on the small city of At-Tah (another road-hub location) from the southeastern direction.
With all this considered, the ground operation has only been in effect for about three hours and militant forces are likely to be in a relatively fresh combat state, meaning an Islamist counter-attack to try retake Umm Jalal is very possible.
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