BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:32 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitaries continue to blitz their way across the open semi-desert steppe of southwestern Aleppo province, capturing another six settlements from armed Islamist groups in the region during recent hours and inching ever close to linking up with military forces operating in eastern Idlib.
According to military-affiliated sources on the ground, in recent hours, Syrian army-led forces operating via the Khanasser front in the southwestern countryside of Aleppo province have taken control of the towns and village of Alaf, Umm Gharaf, Umm Ghabar, Sabeha, Aiytah and Umm Sanabel from jihadist militants.
The settlements were not seized without a fight with Syrian troops having to wrest the towns and villages from grip of Al-Qaeda-affiliated forces still present in southwest Aleppo. To this end, a whole day of clashes took place before rebel fighters retreated.
By this latest advance, Syrian forces in southwest Aleppo are now only just three to four kilometers way from linking up with elite army units operating in eastern Idlib province and pocketing a large rebel-held area south of their current line of advance.