BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:48 P.M.) – A key jihadist strong on the Hama-Idlib provincial border has fallen to elite forces of the Syrian Arab Army following two previously failed assault by government troops to capture the town earlier.

According to pro-government sources, units of the Syrian Arab Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division have liberated the town of Atshan, located along the Hama-Idlib provincial border, amid ongoing offensive operations by the formation in the region.

Although a relatively small town, Atshan served a fortress for militant forces, with many defense positions being built in and around the settlement.

Prior to being taken in recent hours, two earlier attempts by army troops to capture Atshan over the last several days were completely rebuffed by armed rebel defenders.

Atshan commands road links to even larger insurgent strongholds in both Hama and Idlib provinces, namely the towns of Morek and Khan Sheikhoun (respectively).

Given the general direction of the Syrian Army’s advance over the last two days, it appears that either Morek or Khan Sheikhoun or both may be marked for reclamation from jihadist militants in the near future.

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