BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) kicked off their long-awaited offensive on Thursday, targeting the small town of Umm Jalal in the southeastern countryside of the Idlib Governorate.
Led by the 25th Special Mission Forces (formerly Tiger Forces), the Syrian Arab Army was able to establish full control of Umm Jalal after overpowering the jihadist forces inside the town.
Following a few hours of relative calm, the Syrian Army resumed their attack on the southeastern countryside of Idlib, seizing a dozen towns and villages from the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.
Unlike the first attack, however, this latest assault by the Syrian Army was conducted by both the 25th Special Mission Forces and the 5th Corps.
According to a field report from the front-lines, the Syrian Army has already captured Abu Hayyat, Umm Teinah, Sihal, Birisah, and several other towns and villages.
The Syrian Army is still pushing further north in southeastern Idlib this afternoon as they look to reach the outskirts of Ma’arat Al-Nu’man in the coming hours.
Ma’arat Al-Nu’man is one of the most important towns in southern Idlib because of its location in Jabal Zawiyah and proximity to the strategic Hama-Idlib Highway (M-5 Highway).