DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:47 AM) – Pictures of Major General Muhammad Khaddour inspecting the front lines southwest of Khanasser located in Aleppo’s southern countryside have circulated Syrian internet spheres confirming widespread suspicions of a planned government offensive in the region complimenting efforts in northern Hama’s countryside.
Under Major General Khaddour’s command are thousands of troops and an abundance of vehicles in what seems to be the largest operation against rebel forces in northern Syria since Operation Dawn of Victory which had the Syrian Arab Army permanently expel rebel presence inside Aleppo, Syria’s once prosperous economic capital. Notably, Khaddour is the commander of the Idlib operation room.
Syrian forces continue to deploy in the aforementioned region as reports suggest that the first target set by the Syrian command for the operation is the strategic village of Al-Rashadiyah and its surrounding hills. Large areas are expected to be secured within a short time’s notice due to the large concentration of forces and assets on the relevant front.
Overall goal of the operation is to eradicate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham’s Badiya sector whose commanders consist of foreign terrorists veteran to the Afghan and Iraqi theaters. Parallel efforts in north Hama and west Khanasser will conclusively secure the Ithriya-Khanasser Highway that feeds Aleppo and will overwhelm al-Qaeda’s cadres and assets as the extremist group continues to experience a shortfall of resources and finances as it finds itself surrounded by hostile actors within the rebel sphere and former foreign sponsors.
So far, the large advances by the SAA in northeast Hama have been led by loose poorly equipped NDF militias understating the collapse of the terrorist group to a shadow of its former self. Syrian Forces in northern Hama and south Aleppo likely aim to capture Abu al-Duhour Airbase on the boundaries of Idlib’s eastern countryside.
Such a feat would link Aleppo’s southern countryside to Hama’s northeastern countryside setting the stage for an all-encompassing offensive on Idlib whilst enabling the Syrian Army to bypass the rebel forces’ unbreakable defenses in northern Hama and the Ghab plains (the network of towns stretching from Al-Qahira and Frikka in Jisr al-Shughour’s southern countryside to Qala’at al-Mudiq located north of the loyalist Christian town of Mahardeh and the towns east of it comprising of Morek, Khan Sheikhoun, Lataminah, and Kafr Nabudah where government forces encountered huge losses attempting to tackle those towns’ defenses.)
Time is not in the insurgents’ favor as operations against ISIS in the east draw to a close and the bulk of the SAA’s shock troops and offensive units prepare to return to bring a decisive end to HTS’s jihadist dynasty in the Syrian north. Against all odds, the Syrian state is there to stay- a permanent player in the troubled Middle East and a stabilizing agent in a time where radical militant groups harass the Middle East’s fledgling secular states in Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Tunis.