BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:05 A.M.) – As Islamist militias continue their counter-offensive against Syrian pro-government forces across southeast Idlib, an elite army unit – having been pulled out of the reserve and sent to drive back jihadist fighters from a key town in the region – is making its presence felt.

According to military-affiliated sources, the Tarameeh Group of the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces Division arrived in southeast Idlib several days ago, deploying itself along the Abu Dali-Atshan axis.

Acting in a defensive role, the elite Syrian force is tasked with driving back persistent attacks by jihadist-led militias aimed at retaking the crossroad town of Abu Dali from army control.

Abu Dali serves as the main road hub that allows for the resupply and and reinforcement of Syrian Army units inside Idlib as far north as the Abu Duhur area. So far rebel groups have managed to get to within several kilometers of the town but are yet to seize it.

Over the course of Thursday and Friday, Syrian troops of the Tarameeh Group carried out a double ambush against jihadist forces at the town of Atshan, killing and wounded nearly 100 militants as a result of both snag attacks.

As of Sunday, the group remains heavily engaged against armed Islamist groups at various points northwest of Abu Dali including in and around the towns of Atshan, Khuwayn and Tal Maruq.

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