MAJOR: Idlib Offensive – SAA launches the Al-Ghaab Plain operation

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IDLIB, Syria – A large number of SAA (Syrian Arab Army) soldiers have been deployed to the northwestern part of the Al-Ghaab Plain this afternoon, military sources report. The source revealed that the reinforcements were deployed to the government stronghold of Joureen, which is located just east of the Latakia Governorate. The reinforcements deployed to the Al-Ghaab Plain were from several different units, including the Syrian Army’s 4th Armored Division and the “Tiger” Force.

The Syrian Arab Army just started a major offensive in Al-Ghaab Plain in northwestern Syria. While seizing the Idlib Governorate part of the Al-Ghaab Plain is imperative to securing Latakia, the Syrian Arab Army may run into issues if they push too far north towards Jisr Al-Shughour.

As long as the jihadists control Kabani, the Syrian Arab Army will have trouble controlling the territories west of Jisr Al-Shughour. The jihadists have destroyed an important bridge in northwestern Syria in an attempt to prevent the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) advance into the Idlib Governorate.

According to a report from the Hama Governorate, the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham have already destroyed the Beit Al-Ras Bridge in the Al-Ghaab Plain in order to stall the offensive. The Beit Al-Ras Bridge connected the government-held part of the Al-Ghaab Plain with the jihadist-held areas.

This move by the jihadists came at the same time when the Syrian Arab Army sent a large convoy of reinforcements to the northwestern countryside of the Hama Governorate. These new reinforcements from the Syrian Arab Army are already participating in the offensive in northwestern Hama.

Russian forces in Syria are providing air support to the SAA offensive. Two Russian cargo planes were tracked en route to the Syrian province of Latakia, where they are to deliver new equipment to the Hmeimim Airbase.

According to the website Flight Radar 24, one Russian IL-76 strategic airlifter and Tu-154M were en route to Syria from Russia this week.

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Typically, when the Syrian military is about to launch an offensive, the Russian Armed Forces deliver new equipment to the Hmeimim Airport to support this operation.

Meanwhile, a large convoy of Turkish military vehicles was seen moving inside the northern region of Syria close to the militant-held town of Azaz late on Monday. According to recent media reports, the reinforcements have been sent to the Syrian border area by the Turkish military.

This move by the Turkish military comes just days after several reports surfaced about a new operation east of the Euphrates. In 2018, Turkey conducted an operation in and around the nearby Afrin as part of the Turkish-led ‘Olive Branch’ military operation against Syrian Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

The United States has already “warned” Turkey against moving into SDF-held areas, which further complicates the strategic situation in Syria.

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