Moments ago, the Syrian Arab Army’s 3rd and 11th Divisions began their large-scale offensive inside the Al-Rastan Plains of the Homs Governorate after two weeks of mobilizing their forces and shelling the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
According to a military source inside the provincial capital of the Homs Governorate, the Russian Air Force led the way in the Al-Rastan Plains, striking the imperative cities of Talbiseh, Al-Rastan, and Umm Sharshouh with their MI-24 Hind Helicopter Gunships that paved the way for the Syrian Armed Forces’ to begin this long awaited offensive.
The two primary objectives of this northern Homs offensive are the following: 1) reopen the strategic highway that leads from the provincial capital of the Homs Governorate to the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate 2) Further isolate the Islamist rebels inside the last district they control inside the provincial capital (Al-Wa’er District).
The Syrian Armed Forces have launched this offensive from three towns in northern Homs: Kafr Naan, Tasneen, and Jaboureen.
Approximately 2,000-3,000 soldiers are participating in this large-scale offensive inside the Al-Rastan Plains; this is the largest offensive the Syrian Arab Army has launched since the Qalamoun Mountains offensive in late 2013.
The cities of Al-Rastan and Talbiseh will be the most difficult challenges for the Syrian Armed Forces during this offensive, as both cities are heavily entrenched with Islamist rebel fighters that have enough provisions to hold-out for a long duration.