Moments ago in the northern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in close coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF), Hezbollah, Harakat Al-Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), Liwaa Al-Badr (Iraqi paramilitary), and Kata’eb Hezbollah (Iraqi paramilitary) – imposed full control over the village of Hardatineen after a series of violent clashes with the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group), Jabhat Al-Shamiyah, and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen this morning.

The village of Hardatineen is located just west of Tal Jibbin and south of Rityan; its capture allows for the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies to advance west towards the besieged towns of Al-Zahra’a and Nubl, which are also located along the Hariteen Highway that stretches to the Turkish city of Gaziantep.

With the capture of Hardatineen this morning, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies will now shift their attention to the nearby village of Rityan, where they are likely going to be confronted by a large Islamist rebel force because of its proximity to the strategic Hariteen Highway and the opposition strongholds of  Bayanoun and Hayyan.

Last year, the Syrian Armed Forces briefly captured Rityan from Jabhat Al-Nusra; however, a large-scale counter-offensive by the Islamist rebels the following day reversed these gains.

 

 

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

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