DAMASCUS, SYRIA (06:25 PM) – An attempted offensive by Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the Al-Qaeda affiliate formerly known as Al-Nusra, in south-east Idlib has failed.

On Thursday, the Al-Qaeda forces carried out a relentless but eventually pointless counterattack in south-east Idlib, against the massive operation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) that has seen over 200 towns liberated from HTS control in just over two weeks. At high costs, the terrorist organisation could capture six formerly liberated
towns in the area from Syrian control.

But the small victory was not to last. After a matter of hours, a Syrian counterattack drove HTS back out of the towns of Atshan, Hamdaniyah, Umm Harayatm and Tal Marq, recapturing the cities yet again for the Syrian Arab Republic and pushing Al-Qaeda back yet again.

The recapture of the four towns has left HTS with only control over Ard Az-Zarzour and Umm Khalakhi to show for their counter-offensive, and even here their grip seems to be far from strong, as the Syrian army undoubtedly is planning to take these back soon as well.

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Historian specialized in Arab history, Islamic studies and geopolitical analysis. Based in Belgium.

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