DAMASCUS – The Syrian Arab Army continued its military advances in southern Idlib, and managed to lay siege on the terrorists from three directions after taking control of the strategic city of Ma’arat al-Nauman, Arabic-language media outlets reported.
The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that the Syrian army units continued their clashes with the terrorists in southeastern Idlib and after taking full control of al-Hamediyeh town and its military bases tightened their grip on the terrorist groups in Basida, Babolin and Ma’arateh in the surrounding areas of Ma’arat al-Nauman city from three directions.
The newspaper also pointed to the siege of monitoring region controlled by the Turkish Army in Ma’ar Hatat to the south of Ma’arat al-Nauman from three directions and said that the Syrian army troops cut off the International Damascus-Aleppo Road and established security over part of the region.
The Syrian army units also entered the first northern regions of Ma’arat al-Nauman and took control of several parts of it. Meanwhile, other Syrian Army units advanced several kilometers in Khan Touman to the west of Aleppo and regained control of the Jarf al-Sakhar region.
In a relevant development on Monday, the Syrian Arab Army seized control over several crucially important regions in military operations in southern Idlib and managed to cut an important and strategic supply route of the terrorists to Ma’arat al-Nauman.
The Syrian troops engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists in southern Idlib and took control of the towns of Ma’arat Shourin, al-Za’alaneh, al-Qadafeh, al-Dana and Babila to the north of Ma’arat al-Nauman. Al-Watan newspaper quoted a battlefield source as saying that the Syrian army troops cut the international road connecting Ma’arat al-Nauman to Saraqib after imposing control over al-Dana town.
The source also pointed to the Syrian Arab Army troops’ advances to areas just a few hundred meters from Ma’arat al-Nauman and said that the Syrian army troops have now managed to take control over International Aleppo-Hama Highway.
Meanwhile, SAA troops continued their military advances to the regions that spread to southern Aleppo and regained full control of Tal-e al-Mahrouqat, Rahbeh Khan Touman after engaging in heavy clashes with Tahrir al-Sham al-Hayat (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front).
In the western front of the city of Aleppo, the defense lines of the terrorists in al-Rashedeen 4, Ghabeb al-Assad and Jamiat al-Sahafin collapsed and SAA took control of several regions. Last Sunday, the Syrian army took several regions near the eastern gate of the strategic city of Ma’arat al-Nauman.
SAA troops advanced in southeastern Idlib from Abu al-Dohour-Saraqib and the eastern gate of Ma’arat al-Nauman. The government troops purged terrorists from the towns of Ma’arat Shomarin, Taqaneh, Talmanes and Ma’ar Shemsheh in southeastern Idlib after inflicting heavy losses on them.
Al-Watan quoted a military source in southeastern Idlib as saying that SAA troops had spread to the eastern gate of Ma’arat al-Nauman, the second biggest Idlib city situated along the International Aleppo-Hama Highway. Ma’arat al-Nauman was one of the most important bastions of Turkish-backed terrorists.
The daily also pointed to cleaning-up operations carried out in Tal Khatareh, Tal Mastif and Abu Jarif towns and cutting Soq al-Qanam road from eastern Idlib to Ma’arat al-Nauman, and said that the army troops are very close to laying full siege on the regions from different directions.
In the meantime, other Syrian Arab Army units backed by the artillery units advanced in Jamiat al-Zarha-Akaset al-Bazar axis from the western front and took control of several residential complexes in the surrounding areas of Akasar al-Bazar.
SANA news agency reported that the terror outfits occupying Idlib and Aleppo countryside use locals as human shields and prevent them from leaving to safe areas through Abu al-Dohour, al-Habit and al-Hader corridors. Tahrir al-Sham al-Hayat and its allied terrorist groups have established a number of monitoring posts in the areas adjacent to the recently liberated areas in a bid to block the civilians’ exodus.
In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry wrote a letter to the UN, and said that the operation in Idlib and Aleppo against Takfiri elements “will not stop until the elimination of those terrorists, who threaten safety and security of Syrian civilians”.
Last Friday, media reports said that SAA liberated three villages in the Idlib province as other army troops were fighting militants in Aleppo Province. According to the Arabic-language broadcaster Al-Ihkbariya, the Syrian army established control over three settlements in southeastern Idlib.
Arabic-language Al-Watan newspaper also reported that the heavy fighting in the province of Aleppo, northwest of the provincial administrative center, was continuing. The clashes are reportedly taking place in the Aleppo suburb of Zahraa.
Earlier, on Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Center for Syrian Reconciliation reported that at least 40 SAA soldiers had been killed and 80 more wounded after terrorists attacked their positions in the Idlib de-escalation zone. The center added that up to 50 terrorists had been killed during the fighting.
The development comes after the Syrian media reported last week that the Syrian forces had resumed their military operation against terrorists in Idlib, over multiple ceasefire violations. In mid-December, SAA started a new military operation in southeastern Idlib to clear the area of terrorists. Days later, over 40 villages in Idlib had been liberated by Syrian troops.
The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria has repeatedly called on terrorists to stop fighting and peacefully engage in conflict resolution. Idlib is the last terrorist stronghold in Syria. According to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, liberating the area is essential to putting an end to the conflict.