BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:43 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitary groups have secured two more towns in the southern countryside of Aleppo province amid fanatic resistance by armed rebel groups attempting to prevent government forces throughout the region from linking up with friend units in eastern Idlib.

Moments ago, military-affiliated sources reported that assault units of the Syrian Army – moving forward under cover of heavy artillery bombardment – captured the settlements of Umm Tinah and Al-Muzaywinah from Islamist militias.

The last few days have been tough for pro-government forces, not only due to stiff militant resistance but also due to exceptionally horrid weather conditions which, in particular, have grounded warplanes (a key fire support asset that propels army offensives).

With the seizure of Umm Tinah and Al-Muzaywinah, the Syrian Army is now in the final phase of its drive to link up with friendly forces near the Abu Duhur military airport in eastern Idlib province.

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