Moments ago in the Aleppo Governorate’s southern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Aleppo City, and Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary) – imposed full control over the imperative hilltop village of Banes after a violent battle with the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Harakat Nouriddeen Al-Zinki.

According to a military source from the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division in southern Aleppo, the Syrian Armed Forces and their Iraqi and Lebanese allies killed over 19 enemy combatants, while also capturing 7 other militants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham before imposing full control over Banes earlier this morning.

The hilltop village of Banes is situated at the southern flank of Tal Al-Eiss; this aforementioned town was an Islamist stronghold before the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah seized it from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra during their large-scale offensive last month.

With the capture of Banes this morning and the 6 villages near Jabal Al-‘Arba’een, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies have strengthened their buffer-zone around the strategic town of Tal Al-Eiss, while also advancing south towards the Idlib Governorate’s border.

For the Syrian Armed Forces, they have not been present in northeastern Idlib since they conceded the area in late 2012.

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