BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:17 P.M.) – Elite forces of the Syrian Arab Army have taken control of their first city in the province of Idlib after a two-day battle against Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist militias.

Military-affiliated sources report that assault units of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division have seized the city of Abu Duhur in Idlib’s eastern countryside from armed Islamist groups.

The engagement to take Abu Duhur lasted two days and saw Syrian Army troops and armor storm the city under cover of heavy airstrikes and artillery shelling.

Two key Al-Qaeda affiliate militias – Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) and the Turkistan Islamic Party – attempted to defend Abu Duhur but in the end the Syrian Army’s possession of overwhelming numbers and firepower served to be the determiner of the battle.

Abu Duhur represents the first city in Idlib – albeit a small one – to fall to Syrian Army as part of it general offensive throughout the province which was kicked-off just a few days short of a month ago now.

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