The Syrian Arab Army’s 11th Tank Division capitalized on the recent infighting between Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF) by going on the offensive in southern Idlib and northern Hama. The goal of this offensive is to link up with their isolated forces and retake the checkpoints on the M-5 Highway that extends from Aleppo, all the way to Damascus.
On Friday morning, the Syrian Arab Air Force airdropped hundreds of leaflets over the village of Khan Sheikhoun and the Ma’arat Al-Nu’man District – the leaflets were intended to inform the civilians living in these areas that the 11th Tank Division and the National Defense Forces (NDF) are going on the offensive in these rebel-held strongholds.
The leaflets also contained a message for the militants of the Islamic Front (Jabhat Al-Islamiyya): all rebel fighters were given the chance to peacefully handover their weapons and flee the area in order to avoid a violent confrontation.
Meanwhile, at the Abu Dhuhour Airbase, a military source has confirmed the security of the base and informed Al-Masdar News that all firefights have taken place at least 3km west.