BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:27 P.M.) – Elite forces of the Syrian Arab Army, having regained their balance after being thrown off course by a powerful militant counter-offensive over the last five days, are striking back against armed rebel groups in southeast Idlib province, having regained two towns during recent hours.

Amid a renewed wave of heavy airstrikes carried out by Syrian and Russian airpower, elite army assault forces have launched a counter-attack to recapture the towns of Atshan, Khuwayn and Umm Khalakhil in the southeastern countryside of Idlib.

So far Syrian troops have regained full control over the towns of Abu Omar and Al-Hawa after they were lost to jihadist militias during the last 48 hours.

It is worth taking into account that whilst the Syrian Army has for now regained the operational initiative in southeast Idlib (with Islamist militias currently on the defensive), more back-and-forth fighting should be expected until rebel groups fully exhaust their offensive potential.

Given the fact that Islamist factions were recently reinforced with thousands more fighters who have retreated from southern Aleppo, such to-and-fro battles in southeast Idlib may very well go on for another week or two.

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