BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:50 P.M.) – The battle to liberate the entire province of Deir Ezzor from the so-called Islamic State (IS) is nearly finished; however, a large chunk of northwest Syria is still controlled by jihadist groups like Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.

With Idlib almost entirely controlled by the jihadist rebels, the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) High Command has made the decision to redeploy their elite Tiger Forces division to the neighboring Hama Governorate.

Backed by the Qalamoun Shield and 4th Division, the Tiger Forces will make a big push from the northern Hama town of Ma’an in order to capture nearby Abu Dali, which has an important crossroad located inside of it.

Once Abu Dali is recaptured, the Tiger Forces will advance towards the strategic Abu Dhuhour Military Airport in the eastern countryside of Idlib.

The Abu Dhuhour Military Airport was seized by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (previously Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham) during a large offensive in 2015; it has become the jihadist group’s most important base in eastern Idlib.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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