DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:00 P.M.) – Beginning at daybreak, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) stormed jihadist-held areas of the Khanassir Plains, taking control of numerous strategic points after heavy clashes with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and allied Islamist groups.
With hundreds of Syrian Marines pouring into the area on Wednesday, government forces mobilized all available troops this morning and quickly overran the villages of Hajjarah Kabbera, Hajjarah Saghera, Jibb Awad along with the frontier town of Al-Rashadiyah.
According to Al-Masdar News correspondent Ibrahim Joudeh, the SAA is working on expanding its buffer zone along the Aleppo supply line; as such, further operations are underway as we speak to penetrate into nearby villages occupied by HTS militants.
In the past, jihadist forces have used Al-Rashadiyah as a gathering point to launch hit-and-run raids on the government-held road between Hama and Aleppo, representing a constant nuisance to government lorries carrying goods towards the provincial capital of Aleppo.
On another axis some 40 kilometers further south, SAA troops led by Major General Mohammad Khaddour are probing the jihadist defensive line for weak points, looking to capitalize on gains secured last week.