BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:09 P.M.) – Elite assault units of the Syrian Arab Army have had a busy Thursday in Idlib province with their operations against jihadist-led militias over the last 12 hours resulting in the liberation of no less than nine towns and villages throughout the region’s southeastern countryside.

According to emerging reports from military-affiliated sources, units of the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces and 4th Mechanized Division have swooped through another five towns in southeast Idlib province during recent hours after capturing 4 other settlements earlier in the day.

The towns have been identified as Um Rajem, Sheikh Barakah, Qasr Abiyad, Al-Haqiyah and Rabit Mousa.

The latest advance now puts the Syrian Army within three kilometers of the jihadist-held town of Sinjar.

Sinjar has immense strategic value; firstly it is a crossroad town that commands the way to the Abu Duhur military airport (a highly sought objective of the Syrian Army) as well as the general traffic routes between northeast Hama, southeast Idlib and south Aleppo provinces and, secondly, it is a major stronghold used by the Al-Qaeda-linked Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) terrorist group.

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