BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:40 P.M.) – Amid ongoing advances against Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) militants in the countryside of the northeast Hama province, Syrian pro-government forces are now within striking range of an important military command center that was captured from them by rebel militias back in 2014.
Over the last 24 hours, the units of the Syrian Arab Army, National Defense Forces and Qalamoun Shield Forces – backed up by some of the most devastating Russian airstrikes yet seen in the war – have succeeded in liberating three key villages in northeast Hama, slaying scores of Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham fighters during the course of their advance.
Now pro-government forces are turning their offensive efforts towards the the town of Rahjan which use to house the headquarters for the Syrian Ministry of Defence.
Not only would the re-capture of Rahjan serve to be a symbolic victory for the Syrian Army, but it would also serve to consolidate the recent breach made by pro-government forces deep into territory that has been held by militant groups for many years.
The town of Rahjan and its attached military infrastructure was seized by jihadist-led militias from the Syrian Army in July 2014 during a strategic operation that was aimed at cutting the once-vulnerable Aleppo supply line.